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Chef Bill Ranniger’s Turkey Talk

You get a lot of advice and direction about prepping and enjoying turkey during this time of year, but our Executive Chef “Wild” Bill has the best advice. Take it away, Bill.

By Bill Ranniger

Go to Duke’s for several days before Thanksgiving, eat good food and mentally prepare to be away from Duke’s until your turkey is gone.

Buy a great bird, most of us only do it a few times a year. Make sure to buy more than you need, leftovers can be the best part.

If you don’t have a meat thermometer (it should go up to 165 degrees), buy one.

If you are thawing, do it in the refrigerator, slowly. A 20-pound bird can take 4 days . . . make sure no juices can drip on any other foods (not good). Wash the bird before you cook. After, make sure you clean and sanitize your washing, cooking, and prep areas . . . keep yourselves healthy and happy.

Do what prep you can on the days before the big event, this helps you stay organized so you can watch or play football.

If you “break down” your bird before you roast it, you can cook it in smaller sizes. This allows a more even cooking, so you are less likely to dry it out. It won’t be as pretty out of the oven, but it will taste better.

When roasting, make an airtight “foil tent” over your roasting pan. Add veggie stock, fresh sage and poultry seasoning with veggies and other herbs to make your stock more flavorful. Then steam-roast turkey until about 120 degrees.

Then take off foil to brown meat. Baste while roasting.

Use the drip/stock from roasting to make your gravy.

To make your gravy, cook out your roux on medium heat for at least 8 minutes, until it starts to brown. It’ll remove the raw taste of the flour.

Drink wine while cooking; it’s Thanksgiving, have fun!

Be thankful for what you have, food will taste better.

If you don’t have enough leftovers or went to family or a friend’s house, go buy a bird and make your own leftovers. The day after Thanksgiving there are great deals on turkey.

After you’ve had enough turkey, celebrate and go to Duke’s, we don’t serve turkey.

November 18, 2019
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