10 Perfect Turkeys 10 Different Ways
This turkey made its way into chef Craig Deihl’s recipe collection by way of a staff meal at his Charleston restaurant Cypress. He explains that while many people don’t do it on Thanksgiving, the brine is the single most important part of getting a perfectly moist turkey, and adds, "The brine makes the difference between a good turkey and a great one." After trying his recipe, we believe him.
For the traditionalists, sometimes all you want is a simple roasted turkey. We chose Freddy Vargas', of James Beard Award-winning Scarpetta in Beverly Hills, herb roasted turkey. He knows how to add flavor to a bird without overdoing it, with a brine of toasted spices and flavorful spice rub under the skin for roasting.
Cookbook author Anna Maria de Freitas brings a little of her San Juan heritage to her brined and smoked turkey with dried chile flakes and a hint of sweetness. She recommends a Japanese Kamado smoker for this recipe, but even just roasted, the maple syrup brine does the bird justice.
Chef Jimmy Bradley of New York City’s Red Cat shared this recipe with us last year, and it was so unintimidating and easy to follow, we decided to include it again in our roundup. We all know the benefits of deep-fried turkey, but one of Bradley’s gripes is that you don’t have pan drippings to make gravy. His solution is reducing chicken stock so that it’s thick and packed with meaty flavors.
Who better to get a smoked turkey recipe from than the king of barbecue himself, Myron Mixon. We agree that this recipe doesn't have to be enjoyed only once a year.
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We’ve heard that brines are important, and this chef’s recipe shakes things up a bit by adding sweet tea to the brine. His tip is to place the turkey and brine in two doubled garbage bags, which allows you to easily brine it overnight in a roasting pan.
Try something a little different with your turkey this year, like this chicken-fried steak recipe from chef Steve Freidkin of TEXAZ Grill in Phoenix. We promise it’s not as crazy as it seems — the crunchy buttermilk skin fits in perfectly with the stuffing and mashed potatoes.
Winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All Stars, chef Richard Blais developed this roasted turkey recipe for Dannon using their Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt. If you can’t get your hands on Dannon, any Greek yogurt will do. The yogurt-based glaze makes the perfect basting liquid and gives a sweet, tangy flavor to the turkey’s skin.