The Chew co-host (and Top Chef alum) Carla Hall is all about Thanksgiving. She enjoys the traditions of preparing holiday meals largely because she's nailed the formula of how to take the stress and anxiety out of prepping the turkey.
Ready for her top tip? If you're willing to cut your bird up before you cook it, you can reduce the worry about whether it will cook all the way through.
"When I get a turkey, I generally break it down into 10 pieces like a chicken," she told The Feast. "The reason I do this is because I want to have my stock made from that turkey so that I can make the gravy and then when you take the breast off the bone then the white meat will be perfectly cooked and the dark meat will be perfectly cooked, and you have plenty of leftovers."
You can then impress your guests with multiple simple preparations of your turkey, which Carla says can also be a chicken if you prefer.
"Another thing that I do is I will have two different presentations for that one turkey. You can do this because it's broken up into pieces. The one thing I will do is have a gremolata, which is parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and olive oil under the skin. Then for some of my other pieces this year I decided to do caramelized onions where I am caramelizing them in red wine, I have thyme and I have a little bit of garlic and get those really dark and sweet and soft and that goes under the skin. Before I do any of that I generally either do a dry brine, which is just salt on the turkey. Then I put it into the refrigerator and make sure it's really dry. Or I will do a liquid brine."
So now you can cross "worry about the turkey" off your list!
Carla is currently working with Gift My Gathering, a contest that will award five families a tasty and tailored holiday gathering this season; entrants simply have to describe why their family is the greatest gift.
"I'm so excited about this program because it's all about people coming together and celebrating what's most important," she said. "And that is each other."
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