Motor Supply Executive Chef Tim Peters shares his Thanksgiving traditions and a 10-step recipe for a never overcooked, always juicy turkey for you to try this holiday season. Motor Supply will be open all week, except for Thanksgiving, Nov. 28. To make reservations, call (803) 256-6687 or click here.
Every other year I take my Thanksgiving pilgrimage to the great state of Vermont. Although not originally from there, the bulk of my immediate family now call it home. For this I am thankful. (I'm from NJ; enough said.) Let the cooking commence.
Planning is everything to a low-stress Thanksgiving that is enjoyable for everyone, not just your guests. After almost 20 years in commercial kitchens, I have garnered a few tricks.
- Rule #: Don't bite off more than you can chew.
- Rule #2: Most people like the sides of the turkey the most (because most turkey is overcooked).
- Rule #3: Let's fix rule #2.
Chef Peters' 10-step turkey recipe:
- Forget the whole bird idea. Remove the breast from the bone and legs from the body.
- Make the brine: 1 gal. water, 1 cup kosher salt, 1 cup sugar. Mix until dissolved. Place breast and legs in brine and refrigerate for 12 hours.
- While the turkey brines, cut the carcass into smaller pieces and roast until golden brown.
- Place small turkey pieces into a large pot with carrots, onion, celery and any herbs you may have lying around. Cover with just enough water to cover the bones and simmer for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours, strain and discard solids and save the liquid for gravy, dressing, collards or whatever else you might like to use it for.
- Game time: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove turkey breast and legs from the brine and rinse.
- Place turkey into a roasting pan and season with pepper and light salt. Once oven is preheated, place turkey in oven. Cooking time will vary depending on bird, so use a thermometer to check doneness. Your target temperature should be 165 degrees. The breast will cook faster than the thighs.
- When each piece reaches 165 degrees, remove from oven and set aside until all pieces and roasting pan are out of oven.
- Turn the oven to 425 degrees and place turkey back into roasting pan.
- Once the oven has reached 425 degrees, place roasting pan back into oven and roast until the skin crisps.
You now have the perfectly cooked turkey.
Executive Chef Tim Peters, Motor Supply Company Bistro
Image by Forrest Clonts Studio