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Video: Giada shows how to make a turkey for 2

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    >>> sits hardest part of cooking a thanksgiving dinner . a juicy and delicious turkey .

    >> whether you have two people coming over or 20, giada has tips to make sure this is going to be your best bird yet.

    >> yeah.

    >> turkey for two.

    >> yes.

    >> you go to the grocery store, you ask your butcher to debone and butterfly a turkey for you.

    >> they're willing to do that?

    >> they're willing to do that. of course. they debone it for you and butterfly it for you and i always tell them to pound a little bit the breast. you can do it yourself if you like and need to get out aggression. put plastic wrap on top of it and then i season it with salt first. spread mustard on it and then a need it and it also helps the filling to stick. it's like glue really. a very flavorful glue. then i just put the toughing and that's kale.

    >> this is kale with walnuts and stuff. you can actually stuff it with bread and sausage if you want to.

    >> and this is a very healthy turkey .

    >> i like the color. i like it when you undo it and you have great color.

    >> this is a great idea.

    >> in italy we do this with lamb. that's where the idea comes from. then you want to do the skin side up and you take some of these -- i'm the only one getting my hands dirty. just tie it up to keep all the stuffing in and then i throw it in a hot oven. 475 for 20 minutes and decrease the oven a little bit to 375 and continue the roasting for another 30 or so.

    >> how do you keep the skin from burning?

    >> you can put a little oil after the 20 minutes just add chicken broth and start basting it.

    >> okay.

    >> when you're done this is what it looks like and what the stuffing looks like. if you don't like white meat this might be something you're not so into. if you're just a few people this is a fantastic way to go.

    >> or if your kids don't like turkey .

    >> your kids don't like turkey ?

    >> no.

    >> make a mac and cheese.

    >> chicken nuggets for them.

    >> we have a 12 pound turkey here. what you want to do first and foremost is dry it up. dry your turkey well because you get this mushy meat layer.

    >> right.

    >> first thing is loosen the skin from the flesh and i like to put sage. what do you do? dry? wet?

    >> i tried the wet brine one year and using butter and lemon and stuff underneath as well.

    >> we only have 30 seconds.

    >> salt.

    >> paprika and pepper. dry brine it basically overnight and put it underneath.

    >> massage the whole bird with it and put some on the inside.

    >> there we go.

    >> and dry brining makes it nice and firm.

    >> how long does it take?

    >> 475 for 30 minutes to 45 minutes. turn the heat down to 375 another two hours.

    >> basting with broth. this goes inside.

    >> go, go. shove it in there.

    >> this is what you're doing.

    >> i don't do stuffing. makes more flavor this is what it looks like in the end after two hours.

    >> you had me until the aeromatics.

    >> you don't like it?

    >> but i like stuffing more.

    >> but you make the stuffing on the side.

    >> how do you make your gravy?

    >> the stuffing dries out the meat because it sucks the moisture out of it.

    >> yeah.

    >> what was that?

    >> that was the italian way of saying i'm right.

    >> giada de laurentiis , recipes on

TODAY recipes
updated 11/22/2013 8:25:32 AM ET 2013-11-22T13:25:32

Recipe: Smokey autumn turkey

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 2 1/2 hours

Inactive prep time: 12 – 24 hours

  • 1 12-pound turkey
  • 8 sprigs sage, divided
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 1 lemon, cut in quarters
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • For gravy
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Starting the day before, if they are included, remove the neck and gizzards from inside the turkey. Discard or save for another use. Using a paper towel, dry the turkey very well inside and out. Slide your hands under the skin of the breast creating 2 pockets. Place 5 leaves of fresh sage, flat, in each pocket. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, paprika and black pepper. Season the bird inside and out rubbing the spices into the bird and seasoning heavier on the thicker parts. Place the turkey in a large zipper bag or in the roasting pan covered loosely and refrigerate for at least 12 hour or up to 24.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the remaining sage, thyme, onion and the lemon pieces. Using butchers twine, cross the ankles of the bird and tie the legs together. Brush the outside of the turkey with the olive oil. Place the bird in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 375 degrees and add the chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. Continue to roast, basting every 45 minutes, until an internal temperature in the thigh of the turkey reads 160 degrees, about 2 hours more. Cover with foil if the skin begins to darken too quickly.

Remove the bird from the pan and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

Pour the turkey drippings into a medium sauce pan scraping all of the bits from the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the drippings over medium heat and whisk in the flour to form a paste. Cook this over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is a medium amber color. Add the white wine and continue whisking for 1 minute longer. Add the chicken broth, salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. Bring the gravy to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the gravy through a fine mesh strainer just before serving along side of the turkey.

Serving Size

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe: Turkey for two

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time:1 hour

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of Tuscan Kale cut into 1/2 inch pieces, about 3 cups
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 – 3# boneless turkey breast, butterflied
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • For gravy
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Heat a medium sized ovenproof sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and walnuts and sauté for about 3 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to toast. Add the pepper flakes, rosemary and thyme and cook for 1 minute more. Add the kale to the pan with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the kale begins to wilt. Pour in the water and the cranberries and cook, stirring often for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the water has evaporated the kale is completely wilted. Set aside to cool slightly.

Lay the turkey breast flat on a board with the skin side down. Season the inside with 1 teaspoon salt. Spread the mustard evenly over the entire surface. Distribute the kale filling evenly over the mustard. (Wipe out the pan and reserve for roasting the bird) Begin to roll up the turkey, like a jelly roll, starting with the side without the skin so that when you finish rolling it looks like a whole turkey breast with the skin on the outside. Using butchers twine, tie the breast in 1 inch sections across the breast and once around the length of the turkey. Season the outside with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and rub with the olive oil. Place the rolled turkey in the pan and roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, add the chicken broth to the pan and return it to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove the turkey or a board to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, make the gravy.

Place the pan with the turkey drippings over medium heat. Off of the heat, add the brandy being carful as it will splatter. Return the pan to the heat*, and continue to cook for another minute. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes until smooth. Whisk in the broth and allow the gravy to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the cream and warm through. Strain the gravy before serving if desired.


Be careful that when you place the pan with the brandy in it back over the heat that there is a chance it may ignite. It will go out on it’s own once the alcohol has cooked off, about 30 seconds.

Serving Size

Makes 2 (with room for leftovers) to 4 servings

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