Michael Smith & Debbie Gold
Co-Executive Chefs, Forty Sardines
Kansas City, Missouri
1. For a moist turkey, prepare a flavored butter. Butter can be
flavored with different herbs, citrus, chopped nuts, and/or spices in
as many combinations as you can think of. Separate the skin from the
breast and leg areas with your hand. Moisten the raw meat with olive
oil by rubbing a light amount between the skin and meat. This will help
facilitate stuffing the flavored butter under the turkey skin, filling
as many areas as possible. Finish roasting the bird as usual.
2. Try a roasted winter squash such as hubbard or carnival instead
of sweet potatoes. Cut the squash in half, scoop out seeds. Lay squash
in a roasting pan with garlic cloves, fresh thyme sprigs, lots of freshly
cracked black pepper, and drizzle with some honey. Roast in a 450°F
oven for 30 to 40 minutes. The caramelized squash can then be scooped
from the skin and pureed in a food processor with a little bit of butter
or hand chopped for a more rustic look.
3. If cranberry relish is not a big favorite at your house, but you
still want to have the flavor somewhere in your dinner, use dried cranberries.
Marinate the dried cranberries in some ruby port and add them to your
gravy or mix them into your stuffing.
4. For a gravy with a little pizazz, make a small amount of turkey stock
using the neck. Strain the stock into a stainless steel pot, add meat
drippings from the pan in which you roasted the turkey. Bring to a boil;
reduce heat to a simmer. At this point, you can whisk in a wide variety
of flavors such as a roasted garlic puree, a hubbard squash puree, a
roasted onion puree - the list can go on and on.