Cut your turkey cooking time in half, stuffing with sweet potatoes


by Elizabeth Berman

Posted on November 25, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 25 at 2:49 PM

Thanksgiving Turkey broken down
By Chester Gerl, Executive Chef, Matt’s In the Market

Start with:
12 lb turkey (When turkey is broken down, total cooking time of around 1 ½ hours or roughly 10min/lb; if not broken down, at least 3 hrs):

1hr breast
1hr, 45 minutes for leg and thigh
Seared on skin side to crisp skin

• Preheat oven @ 350
• To remove breast: Start by taking left turkey breast off. With a standard kitchen knife, cut along breast plate making sure not to cut into wishbone at top until you come to the wing joint making sure to keep as much skin on the breast as possible (Emphasis: do not remove skin)
• To remove leg: Start at left hip joint, follow with knife in a straight line from top of thigh to bottom of thigh; then your leg is removed.
• Separate drum from thigh: Using knife, find joint where drum meets thigh and cut straight through
• Now, you have three pieces (Breast, leg, thigh)
• Repeat on right side
• Rub all removed parts with salt
• Heat large skillet or pan on stove w/ 2 tablespoons canola oil on high for 1-1 ½ min (depending on whether you have electric or gas)
• Add all parts with skin side in oil and meat side up
• Sear for about 4 ½-5 minutes to crisp skin; reduce heat to medium-high and roast for 4-5 minutes or until skin is brown
• Transfer from skillet to sheet pan (Be VERY careful) leaving skin side down, meat side up
• Roast for 50 minutes
• At 50 minute point, flip meat and roast breast for add’l 10 minutes and leg and thigh for add’l 55 minutes
• Remove, let rest for 8-10 minutes to maintain juices
• Slice and serve


Thanksgiving Stuffing with Sweet Potatoes (serves 6)
By Chester Gerl, Executive Chef, Matt’s In the Market

Night before Thanksgiving:
• Roast 2 medium size sweet potatoes @ 350 for 2 hrs; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Thanksgiving Day:
Remove sweet potatoes from refrigerator. Then…

• 2 oz butter
• 1 large sweet onion
• ¼ bunch of thyme (leaves picked)
• 18 oz bread (Chef uses brioche from Macrina)
• 6 eggs
• 1 ½ cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
• 2 teaspoons black pepper

• Start with sweet potatoes in oven for 2 hrs @ 350; while sweet potatoes are roasting sweat sweet onions and butter; after the onions are transparent, add thyme; in a mixing bowl, add large chunks of bread

• In a separate bowl, mix heavy cream and eggs; then add to bread, onion, and thyme mix and let sit in refrigerator.

• When sweet potatoes are done roasting, take out of oven, peel skin and dice sweet potatoes and add to bread and custard mix; put final mix in pie tin and cover with tin foil; on sheet pan, create water bath and set pie tin on sheet pan and bake for 2 hrs.