It’s Thanksgiving Day and you’re still not ready for the guest parade? Don’t panic. A few local celeb chefs chime in with their best last-minute tips:
Joshua Wahler, Symcha’s/Hell’s Kitchen alum: Do not overcook your turkey; thermometers are your friend. In the bottom of the roasting pan have chicken stock, butter, celery, carrot, leaks, jalapeños and bacon, it will steam the turkey and you can use it to baste throughout cooking to keep it super moist and loaded with flavor.
Kareem Anguin, The Oceanaire Seafood Room: The most important part is cooking a good turkey. Hopefully it’s a good size and won’t take a long time to cook — between 10 to 14 pounds is perfect. Tip two: Use a syringe to inject your turkey with your seasonings or marinade.
Michael Gilligan, Rusty Pelican: The reason why I personally take the turkey apart is because each part of the bird cooks at different temperatures. If you have the legs that are perfectly cooked, then the breast is overdone. If the breast is cooked to a juicy perfection, then the legs are undercooked. That’s just the nature of the beast. Plus if you have the legs deboned and the breast removed it is so much easier to carve. (Note: As the local butcher is becoming a thing of the past, look on the Web for deboning instructions.)
Joel Huff, Azul at the Mandarin Oriental: To avoid dry stuffing, add some fat. I always use mild, Italian sausage. Always go for fresh cranberries over canned cranberries. You’ll taste the difference.
Sylvain Noel, soon-to-open Pearl Restaurant & Champagne Lounge: I always suggest a refreshing salad to balance the heaviness of other traditional holiday dishes. Endives, arugula, fresh-orange segments, pomegranate, candied pecans and a simple dressing composed of premium olive oil and a 20-year aged balsamic will complement any holiday table and add a splash of color.
Aaron Brooks, Edge, Steak & Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Miami: To make that bird a little more divine: Blend fresh chopped parsley, sage, green onion, a little garlic, sea salt and lemon zest with butter and spread under the skin of the breast before roasting. The butter and flavors from the herbs will penetrate the meat and keep it beautiful and moist. I like to toss any leftover roasted yams, carrots and pumpkin with some arugula, a little Californian extra virgin olive oil and aged cider vinegar for a great salad. A piece of heaven.