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Joshua Perkins Turkey Tips
November 2007

How to do it:

First of all, close for Thanksgiving! We’re closed Thursday, and Friday is a really busy night. And make your father–in–law cook! The only thing I do is the cranberry sauce — I sauté fresh cranberries in cane sugar and orange juice until they pop, then cool them in the fridge.

As for the turkey: It’s just a big bird! You’ve got to make sure the inside cavity is filled – this keeps the temperature up in the inside all around, instead of just from the outside, which is how it gets too dry. At home, we stuff the turkey with cornbread stuffing and start it in a 400-420°F oven to get the skin a nice golden-brown. Then we turn the oven down to 200°F and leave it overnight.

To adapt to a restaurant setting: Start the turkey around 450°F and cook until the outside is golden, then drop to 200°F and cook until it’s barely done (still a bit underdone, really). Break it down and keep it in a warm pan with a little stock to stay moist. For service, re-heat at 400°F — this will bring the bird to the perfect point. This is how we do our chicken on a regular basis.