M aybe you've already deep-fried turkey. Or stuffed it with a couple other poultry cousins. Exhilarating the first time, no doubt. And then a little humdrum. Preparing a Thanksgiving turkey should be an adventure. Three chefs show us how to go daredevil on the bird by taking it beyond Norman Rockwell-golden to almost fierce hues of brown. They grill, smoke, and sear to deepen the flavors while darkening the skin.
A strong advocate for breaking turkey tradition is Francis Mallmann, a renowned Argentine chef and author of the newly released Mallmann on Fire. He puts it this way: "Our worst enemies are comfort and routine. Life is more than that. You have to walk to the edge of uncertainty and find joy."
He is, in fact, talking about turkey. Mallmann builds a steel teepee and hangs a huge wild bird from it. The turkey dangles over smoldering wood logs in a massive fire pit all day. But even Mallmann's quickly grilled spatchcocked turkey pushes us out of the cooking comfort zone. It starts with splitting the bird and pressing it flat. You'll hear and feel bones cracking-a sure way to "find joy" should any family drama arise. If things get heated, you escape outside to grill. The butterflied bird cooks through fast, so stick with it, flipping to evenly brown and pulling it the moment it's done.
Get the recipe: Butterflied Turkey a la Parrilla with Chanterelles and Grilled Chicory
For a grilled option that requires little tending but more time, smoke the bird. While Mallmann's turkey develops an earthy charred flavor, chef Elizabeth Karmel's tastes of smoky campfires. Karmel, a North Carolina native, acclaimed pitmaster, and author of three grilling books, brought real barbecue to New York City as chef of Hill Country. For her new nationwide barbecue delivery company, Carolina Cue To-Go, Karmel tends whole hogs in a smoker, letting them go low and slow. But she applies higher heat to turkeys. Karmel explains, "You don't want to use a smoker and really low heat for turkey the way you do for these pigs. Turkey's best on a gas or charcoal grill." Rich smoke permeates the meat to the bone and a hot pepper glaze caramelizes into a spicy, tangy crust.
Get the recipe: Smoked Turkey with Hot Pepper Jelly Glaze
Another surprising way to cook turkey? Skip the whole bird and go straight for the turkey breast, seared right on the stovetop. The cut turns surprisingly flavorful in the hands of renowned southern chef Sean Brock. Instead of using live fire to supercharge his turkey, he uses fat. Duck fat, to be exact. It gives the skin a super-dark sear on the stovetop, then helps enrich the meat through repeated basting in the oven. He developed the technique for quail, but it works equally well for a bone-in, skin-on turkey breast. Sound crazy not to make a whole bird on Thanksgiving? This cut works particularly well for small Turkey Day gatherings, and the generous duck-fat basting and creamy green-onion sauce means that even folks who turn up their noses at white meat will be going in for seconds.
21 janvier 2015