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Cook turkey and stuffing 3 ways by adding Italian, Asian and Southern flavors

Sick of the same old turkey and stuffing? Try something new this Thanksgiving. Billy Dec, Suzanne Vizethann and Anthony Scotto are imparting some of their Thanksgiving creativity and flavor in such classics as the turkey and stuffing. Here are their recipes, which incorporate some Italian, Asian and Southern flair. 

Roast Turkey with achiote butter and Hawaiian bread stuffing
Courtesy of Billy Dec

Today

Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup ginger
  • 1/2 cup garlic
  • 6 stalks lemongrass
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or coconut vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper

Achiote butter

  • 1 pound of butter
  • 4 ounces achiote paste 
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Stuffing:

  • 3 packages Hawaiian bread (diced into 1-inch by 1-inch dice) 
  • 3 longanisa (Filipino sausages) taken out of the casing
  • 2 ounces scallions (sliced thin)
  • 1 quart julienne green papaya (using a Japanese mandolin)
  • 1 small diced white onion
  • 3 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • Canola oil

Add ginger, garlic lemongrass and apple cider vinegar in a food processor and pulse. (You could throw everything in, but it might splash a bit, so do this part first to break it all down). Add the remaining ingredients. Marinate the turkey (rub all over outside and in the cavity of the bird) and let sit for at least 6 hours or simply leave overnight to let it all absorb.

Melt butter, add the achiote, lemon juice and salt then whisk. Set aside for basting.

In a sprayed sheet pan, place diced Hawaiian bread in a even layer. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until golden brown. In a rondo pan, heat up canola oil and sweat out white onions. Then add longanisa, break it down with a spoon.  

Once the sausage is cooked, add chicken stock. Add toasted Hawaiian bread and mix until everything is incorporated. Place in sheet pan and cool, then add scallions and papaya.

Remove turkey from marinade and pat dry, removing excess lemongrass. Stuff bird with Hawaiian bread stuffing. Truss with butcher twine. Season with salt and pepper and add a little canola oil around the skin. Cover breast with aluminum foil so it cooks slower than rest of the turkey.

Place bird in a roasting pan and bake at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 degrees. Remove the foil from the breast when the temperature reaches 100 degrees (about 2 hours of cooking). 

Baste with achiote butter, using a pastry brush, about 10 minutes before the turkey is done cooking. The butter gives the bird a nice red hue, and the achiote flavor will deepen once cooked on the bird. To keep the turkey moist, remove it from the oven then the temperature reaches 165 degrees. Let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.


Sweet tea brined deep fried turkey with sriracha butter and bacon cornbread stuffing

Courtesy of Suzanne Vizethann 

Today

Sweet Tea Brine

  • 4 lemons, halved
  • 1 1/2 gallons unsweetened brewed tea
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups salt
  • 7 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, ground fresh
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 8-10 bay leaves

Sriracha butter

  • 1/2 stick of butter, unsalted at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced

Deep fried turkey breast

  • 6-8 skin-on boneless turkey breast brined in sweet tea brine
  • Fryer oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 4-5 sprigs thyme or rosemary for garnish

Bacon cornbread stuffing

  • 2 pounds smoked bacon, diced (we use Benton's bacon from Tennessee)
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 5-6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup rosemary, minced
  • 1 loaf pan cornbread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 6-8 slices (1-2 days old) country white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup reserved bacon fat

In a 20-22 quart cambro container, dissolve sugar and salt in the hot brewed tea. When adding lemons, squeeze slightly to add juice to the tea. Let chill. Once tea mixture is chilled completely, add the remaining ingredients. Place raw turkey into brine, ensuring turkey is completely submerged in the liquid. Brine overnight (ideally 12-24 hours).

For the sriracha butter, lay a piece of plastic wrap (2-feet by 1-foot) on a flat surface. Add all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed until fully incorporated. Turn mixer off and scrap down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix again for another 30 seconds. Remove sriracha butter from the bowl and place in the center of prepared plastic wrap. Shape butter into a log and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let butter chill for at least an hour before slicing.

Use paper towels to pat dry the brined turkey. Let it come to room temperature (at least 30 minutes) while you pour frying oil into electric turkey fryer (amount indicated on fryer) and heat to 300 degrees.

Fry turkey for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. After 30 minutes, take turkey out and raise fryer to 350 degrees. Fry for another 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees (the temperature will raise to 160 degrees even after removed). Let turkey rest at least 15-20 minutes before carving.

Fry thyme or rosemary sprigs. Garnish turkey with the thyme or rosemary and sriracha butter. 

To make the stuffing, sauté bacon in skillet over medium heat until browned and fat has rendered off (12-15 minutes). Remove bacon from skillet and drain. You will only need half of the bacon for this recipe, so save the rest to put in an omelet or BLT. Reserve 1/4 cup bacon fat from the pan and set to the side.

Using the same skillet and about 1-2 tablespoons of bacon fat sauté onions and celery until soft (about 5 minutes) then add rosemary the last minute of cooking.

In a large mixing bowl add cornbread, white bread, sautéed vegetables and half of the cooked bacon. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour chicken broth and 1/4 cup reserved bacon fat over stuffing and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

Roast turkey and sausage and rice stuffing
Courtesy of Anthony Scotto

Today

Roast turkey

  • 15 to 20 pound turkey 
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt 
  • 1/4 cup fresh cracked pepper 
  • 1 pound soft butter 
  • 1/2 bunch thyme, leaves removed from stem, and rough chopped
  • 1/2 bunch sage, leaves removed from stem, and rough chopped 
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed from stem, and rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs 
  • 1 large onion sliced 
  • 4 large carrots, rough chopped 
  • 3 celery ribs, rough chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 2 cups chicken broth 
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Stuffing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 pound Italian sausage without casing 
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 pound ground veal 
  • 2 pounds uncooked rice 
  • 1 1/2 pounds mozzarella cheese, diced 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash turkey and dry with paper towel. Rub turkey with olive oil and then sprinkle with Kosher salt and pepper all over turkey and inside cavity. 

In a small bowl, mix soft butter with chopped herbs and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Separate skin of turkey from the breast and using your hand, place the herb butter mixture between the skin and the breast, and place pats of butter on the outside of the turkey. 

In a large roasting pan, place rough chopped vegetable on base of pan, place turkey on top, add chicken broth and place in oven at 350 degrees. Baste turkey every half hour. 

Turkey should take 3 1/2 hours to cook or reach internal temperature of 155 degrees.

Remove turkey from the pan when cooked. Strain all the drippings with a fine strainer. Remove fat from surface with a spoon. Place natural drippings in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Take all-purpose flour and mix to a thick consistency with water, making sure there are no lumps. With a whisk blend in slowly flour mixture into the drippings until gravy has thickened. Hold until ready to serve. 

For the stuffing, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, brown the sausage in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Move it to a large bowl. Sauté the onion, beef and veal in the remaining olive oil until brown and add it to the bowl. 

Cook the rice according to the package directions until al dente. In a large bowl, stir together the meat, rice, chicken broth, mozzarella and Parmesan. 

Place the mixture in a casserole dish, and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. 

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