The great turkey debate

By LOUISA KASDON  |  November 21, 2012

CHRIS DOUGLASS
Chef-owner of Ashmont Grill and Tavolo

"I tend to brine my turkeys. I think it keeps them moist. But I start early, putting the bird in the brine on Sunday or Monday, taking it out, and letting it sit for a day or two and drain, uncovered, so that it is dry to the touch. If the turkey 'pellicule' (skin) is too moist, it won't brown. It needs to develop a thin, dry veneer to brown. If you have a normal home-sized refrigerator, forget about the brining. . . . It is absolutely hard to get a whole roasted stuffed turkey done perfectly. I butterfly my turkeys and put foil over the breast. I take out the 'back,' crack the breastbone from the inside, and open it up and spread it. The downside: you need a really big pan."

TONY MAWS
Poultry Brine

Wanna give brining a try? Bathe the bird in this recipe from the chef-owner of Craigie on Main, which makes enough for a 14-pounder. Soak the turkey in the stuff and refrigerator overnight.

2L water
60g kosher salt
11g kombu
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. coriander seeds
2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 ea. allspice berries
2 ea. juniper berries
1 tsp. chile flakes
2 ea. cloves

OR, LEAVE IT TO THE PROS IF YOUR TURKEY TURNS OUT TOUGH, BURNED, OR OTHERWISE TRAGIC THIS YEAR, CONSIDER LEAVING IT TO A PRO NEXT TIME: JASPER WHITE'S SUMMER SHACK TAKES ADVANCE ORDERS FOR DEEP-FRIED AND OVER-ROASTED THANKSGIVING TURKEYS EVERY YEAR.

>> LOUISA@LOUISAKASDON.COM

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