Out of all the dishes that will fill your table this Thanksgiving, nothing is more daunting than the turkey. We asked some of our favorite chefs for their best turkey tips. Whether this is your first turkey or your 10th, read on and learn how to bring your turkey game to the next level this year.
Source a Local Bird
"Please don't purchase a genetically engineered Frankenturkey," says Husk's Sean Brock. "It's worth finding a local heritage breed—the difference in flavor will blow your mind." Go to localharvest.org for naturally grown turkeys to pick up or have shipped.
The Underbelly's Chris Shepherd fills the cavity of the turkey with garlic, fresh thyme, and some halved satsumas, a seasonal citrus that tastes like an orange. Brock's favorite stuffing recipe is made up of a mix of apples, carrots, onions, celery, bay leaves, fresh sage, and thyme.
Amp Up the Flavor
"Brining the day before gives you a tremendous taste advantage," says Jeremiah Bacon of the Macintosh. Season each gallon of water with a cinnamon stick, a bay leaf, some orange zest, a splash of orange juice, and ¾ cup salt. Chill turkey in brine for 12 hours.