Bobby Flay on How to Roast a Turkey

The chef likes to keep it simple

Bobby Flay thinks that turkeys don’t get any respect.

The famed chef, restaurateur, and TV personality met up with us in Atlantic City, N.J., last weekend for the Borgata’s Savor event, and we had the chance to ask him about what might be the most underappreciated fowl around.

"I don't think turkey does get enough respect," he told us. "It's a fantastic protein and I love it."

His secret to a perfect bird? Keeping it simple, and paying no mind to the tips you’ll find out there.

"Just roast it well," he said. "Roast it correctly. That's what it comes down to. I think all of these tricks and tips; I don't think that it's necessary."

So when it comes time to roast his Thanksgiving turkey, Flay will be following his usual approach:

"I roast the turkey with lots of chicken stock and butter and vegetables in the bottom, and I use that to baste the turkey every 15 to 20 minutes," he said. "And then when the turkey breast is finished, I take it out and I whack off the legs and the thighs, and I put those back into the chicken stock that I've been roasting the turkey in, and cover it, and finish braising the dark meat. This way, the white meat is done, it's not going to overcook, and it's resting. It has to rest for at least an hour, probably. And the dark meat is becoming more like pulled turkey."

As for brining a turkey, Flay goes against the grain and votes against it.

"Frankly, I don't like turkeys that are brined, because while it can create some moisture, which is the whole idea behind brining, a lot of times it takes on a funny texture. I'm not into it."

So there you have it: Baste the turkey as it roasts, braise the legs in the hot chicken stock while the breast rests, and your turkey will once again be worthy of the respect it deserves. 

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