I'm a Whole-Roasted Turkey Person Now
Also! I've moved to Substack & other updates
I know it’s been a minute since I’ve popped into your inbox, and there is so much to catch you up on. First off, I’ve moved to Substack! This newsletter was previously hosted on Bulletin, which announced that they will be sunsetting the platform at the top of next year. But we’ve had such a blast together that I’ve decided to keep the newsletter going right here on Substack. (If you’ve already subscribed, you don’t have to do a thing. And everything is still totally free!)
You can expect the same easy recipes and life updates, but there are some other fun features here that I hope to try out. Any interest in listening to me cook? Because I can add audio notes here!
In turkey news:
I developed a whole-roasted turkey recipe to satisfy the Thanksgiving traditionalists, and I think I may have flipped to the other side. I know that last year I shared my then-favorite turkey method, which involved breaking it down into parts, searing it in a pan, and butter-basting before roasting. And yeah, that’s a really good turkey, but this is also a really good turkey (I’d say just as good as breaking it down into parts, and even better than spatchcocking!) with a fraction of the effort!
The low and slow cooking method gently and evenly cooks the turkey, keeping the white meat moist while allowing the connective tissue in the dark meat enough time to break down and become tender. It’s finished with a molasses glaze and blasted in a hot oven to deeply brown the skin for a picture-perfect finishing touch. Find a full video of how to make it on my instagram.
Here are the key things to remember:
Start with a 10 to 14-pound turkey. Bigger birds will cook unevenly and dry out using this method. If you’ve got to feed a big crowd, roast 2 turkeys (1 earlier in the day or the day before, which can be reheated at 350F while everyone digs into the other turkey. See more details about reheating below.)
Cook it low and slow with moist heat:
Set a wire rack onto a sheet tray.
Use sage and thyme to make a bed of herbs for the turkey to rest on.
Place the turkey onto the herbs, stuff the cavity with a quartered onion and the smashed cloves from a head of garlic.
Secure the legs with the tail, twine, or foil.
Smear the entire turkey with a thin layer of softened butter and top generously with more sprigs of thyme and sage.
Pour enough water to cover the sheet tray by 1/4-inch and insert a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey.
Use a few long sheets of foil to cover the tray and turkey. Crimp tightly around the edges of the sheet tray, while molding the foil into a tent over the turkey, so it's not lying directly on the surface of the turkey.
Roast at 300F until you reach an internal temperature of 160F (our 11-pound turkey took 4 hours). You can leave the turkey at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it needs to be refrigerated.
Glaze it and brown with high heat. I use molasses to achieve an extra deep color fast. You can also use honey or maple, but the skin will not become as burnished.
If your turkey:
has been at room temperature for 2 hours, heat it covered at 350F for 10 minutes before proceeding.
has been in the refrigerator, let it sit out at room temperature for 1 hour, then heat it covered at 350F until you reach an internal temperature of 140F, about 45 minutes, before proceeding.
has just been roasted, remove it from the oven before proceeding.
Increase oven temperature to 425F.
Stir together 3 tablespoons melted butter with 3 tablespoons molasses.
Unwrap turkey, remove sprigs of herbs, and brush with a thin layer of molasses mixture.
Roast turkey until deeply browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes, carve, and serve.
In non-turkey news:
I’m in a new show on HBO Max called The Big Brunch! It was so much freaking fun to work on! I mean, I was lucky enough to spend 12 hours a day eating and drinking amazing food sitting between a couple of my favorite people, Dan Levy and Will Guidara. The first three episodes aired last Thursday with three more coming at you this week. I hope you all check it out!
I am the guest editor for this year’s Best American Food Writing, and it’s now available to purchase! This was such an honor and also a joy. I got to do my favorite thing, read about food, and put all my favorites together in one book.
Listen to me and Dan Levy talk about The Big Brunch on Radio Cherry Bombe
Watch me make an omelet on Late Night with Seth Meyers (he didn’t do half bad!)
Thanks for being here and see you next time!