TODAY | November 19, 2012
>>> in today's holiday kitchen, we're talking turkey, preparing a 15-pound bird can be intimidated, especially when it is the centerpiece of your dinner table.
>> celebrity chef art smith is here to tell you how easy it can be.
>> easy peasy. i want to tell you something, think of a turkey as a big chicken .
>> that's right. already not intimidated.
>> most importantly, make sure you thaw it according to when you buy your turkey. if you buy it fresh, you don't have to worry about that, but one of the things i think is most important, you have to have a hot oven. also remember, too --
>> slow bake it, no?
>> what i like to do is start with a hot oven, just sear it, then turn it down to 325. first rule, you want to season that. i just did salt and pepper .
>> little olive oil ?
>> i think olive oil helps a lot of things, just really nice. then what i do is --
>> you do a rub with this?
>> yes, i do.
>> listen to this, do a rub.
>> come on, ms. chef, what am i doing?
>> hoda, you had a great question, you can put the wonderful herbs on the skin.
>> the herbs are going under the skin, kath, we're putting them under here.
>> that's where a lot of people put butter.
>> what are these leaves?
>> what's your favorite kind of stuffing?
>> i like rosemary.
>> i like cornbread.
>> you can't come to my house, sorry.
>> what do you like?
>> my mother's sausage and sage, always.
>> under there too?
>> under the breasts here, just pull it up. what that does is, keep in mind, that turkeys, you know, this repels water and stuff like that. you know, so in other words, all the flavor is going to be under the skin and everything.
>> sure, sure.
>> let me ask this, does the pan matter? sometimes i get the pans from the grocery store, the thin ones.
>> unless you buy several, because you really risk burning yourself, i would recommend getting a nice, heavy duty pan, sturdy pan. we're going to put a few chopped vegetables in there. we call that the holy trinity in southern cooking. all that does is add flavor, celery, onion, carrot.
>> basics, basics. you don't stuff your bird? you do your stuffing separately?
>> i did research on that. southern started calling dressing because they didn't want to stuff their birds, they'd make it like a casserole on the side. you can do both. but remember, if you stuff the bird, you have to do 30 more minutes per pound.
>> only 30 seconds.
>> how long do you cook the bird for?
>> this is a 14-pound bird. you want to cook it at least three and a half hours to four.
>> cover it or don't?
>> start it out first and sear it.
>> then what?
>> then turn it down.
>> you don't cover it?
>> no, i do not. i do not. then what you're going to do it, we're going to add a little bit of flour.
>> making the gravy?
>> yes, the gravy. just a little bit of that. i'm going to pour this in, stir, stir, stir.
>> get in there, get in there. involved.
>> it's already burnt on the bottom.
>> burnt is flavor.
>> go ahead.
>> yes, that's what i'm talking about!
>> you're adding, what, chicken stock or turkey stock?
>> you can either add chicken stock or turkey stock. the other thing i want to press upon too --
>> we have to cut to flo rida .
>> can't keep him waiting.
>> got to have some of that. look how tender and moist. cut across.