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Chef Daryl Nash of Otom, Chicago, Il. on
Chef Daryl Nash

951 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 491-5804

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Daryl Nash Turkey Tips
November 2007

For Pure Turkeyness:

The first thing I like to do to the bird (after it’s fully thawed if you’re getting it frozen) is season under the skin. Being careful not to peel it off, I rub salt and pepper under all of the skin I can get to. Then I rub handfuls of room temperature butter between the skin and the breast and inside the thigh cavities. I like to let the bird sit for about 2 days or so like this, in the fridge, which forces out the excess water and leaves pure turkeyness.

If you’re not going for the traditional tableside carving and you’ll be breaking down the roasted bird in the kitchen then presentation is less important and it’s all about flavor. In this case, I like to roast it upside down, which is to say, breast-side down. As the turkey cooks all the juices drip into the traditionally less moist breast area. When it comes time to rest it, leave it breast-side down again so the juices can continue traveling and moistening the breast.

I go for a high temperature for a short amount of time and then, depending on how large the bird is, I lower the oven down to about 325°F and roast it until the bird reaches 155°F – because we all know carryover cooking will raise the temperature another 10° and I don’t want to overcook it.

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