INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent went on a mission to make the best Thanksgiving turkey ever. Famed chef Todd English told INSIDE EDITION he's up for the challenge.
Trent met English at his Manhattan restaurant Cava.
“Turkey, as simple as it is, it is as difficult as it is because it's a bird that dries out in the breast, and is hard to cook,” English said.
So, here's the number one tip to making a great turkey, and it's something you've probably never thought of, butterfly the bird. Just remove the backbone and splay it open with a meat cleaver.
“I would recommend you have your butcher do this. We don't want anybody losing fingers over this,” said English.
With this technique, the turkey cooks faster and more evenly.
Todd also says that when it comes to your turkey, bigger isn't always better.
“I like them a little bit smaller, because the breast to thigh ratio is a little better. I like 16-18 pounds,” said English.
This Thanksgiving, English decided to try an Asian-inspired turkey.
“I’m going to do a Peking-style roast turkey," said English.
The marinade is a red chili paste with the following ingredients: soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil.
“We’re going to let this marinate overnight,” said English.
As for the traditional side dishes, try pureeing your sweet potatoes, then top it off with caramelized bananas and shredded coconut. It's a nice and healthy alternative to marshmallows.
“Geez that's beautiful,” Trent said of the side dishes.
Then there was the big moment.
“Peking turkey, here it is! We are going to reveal this. Viola!" said English.
Trent said, "It looks moist and juicy, and it's such a different presentation than we're used to. And it smells divine.".
Then it was time to taste the bird.
"That is a flavorful turkey! You may have risen to the challenge," said Trent.
A Thanksgiving masterpiece!
Try Todd English’s Thanksgiving Peking Turkey:
1pc 16-18 pound Organic turkey, back bone removed
For the marinade:
2 package Char Siew powder
1 qt. water
1cup Brown sugar
½ cup Soy sauce
¼ cup Sesame oil
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice powder
Lay the turkey in a deep roasting pan, skin side down. Blend all of the marinade ingredients together, pour over the bird covering all surfaces. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to marinade in the refrigerator overnight.
Pre heat a conventional oven to 285 degrees. Remove the bird from the marinade and rest it skin side up on a flat roasting rack. Put the marinade in a small sauce pot and reduce it until it becomes a thickened glaze.
Cook the turkey in the oven for approximately 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the bird. As the bird is cooking, re-apply the glaze several times, using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon.
© Todd English 2012