Thanksgiving 2012

Brined a la Thomas Keller sous vide turkey breast in mushroom butter sauce with pommes duchesse. I’m sure there were some veggies somewhere in there as well haha! This recipe is a bit more technical and time consuming but the results are worth the effort. Preparation is key… “meez” it up!

Two Step Turkey (Recipe for a 10 pound bird):

1. Brine the turkey overnight, one hour per pound is a good rule.

Brine (Adapted from Thomas Keller’s Buttermilk fried chicken brine + a couple more things)

8000g water (8 quarts)
2+1/2 C Sea Salt (I didnt have kosher salt today!, the store ran out this week)
5 lemons, cut in half, squeezed (leave skins in the brine container)
1 large onion, cut in big chunks.
1 large garlic head cut in half along equator.
1/2 C Honey (this could be easily increased to a full cup)
1/4 C whole peppercorns
1 bunch of thyme.
1 bunch of rosemary
1 bunch of sage
1 bunch of parsley
18 bay leaves.

1. Cook sous vide:

Quarter the turkey 6 ways, debone the breasts. Reserve the carcass, neck and giblets.
Bag each piece individually, add 2 Tbsp of butter and a pinch of salt in the bag.
Vacuum seal.. wondering about this actually, what about a looser seal, less vacuuming and more fat (butter)?
I feel that the near vacuum environment in the bag helps draw moisture out of the turkey faster. Would like to try a this: 2 turkey breasts, one vacuum sealed and no fat, one loosely sealed, submerged in butter. Cook at 65C for an hour and a half. Anyways, continuing:

65c 4 hours yielded somewhat dry breasts. Would have been better if:
60c till fully cooked time, probably about 1:30 hours would have been perfect. legs are a different story. 80c 8 hours (confit).

Let baggies rest for half hour then cut open.
Place on a roasting pan.
Brush the entire surface with butter.
Broil at medium high heat, until surface turns golden.
Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.

For the Stock:

Roasted carcass (cut bones in even sized pieces) in oven, coated with olive oil, roast until golden. Turned pieces over once, let juices dry out on the roasting pan, then deglazed the roasting pan with water, about 1/3 Cups. Lined roasting pan with tin foil, less cleaning.

Pressure cooker turkey stock:

Roasted carcass pieces + deglazed jus
1 onion
10 garlic cloves mashed as in a cheese cloth sachet
1 leek including green leaves
3 carrots, skins on, halved and sliced length wise
3 celery stalks, cut in thirds and bruised with side of the knife

pressure cook for 1 hour (better if 2 hours)

Mushrooms for the sauce:

400g of sliced white cap mushrooms
4 Tbs of butter
1 tbsp sea salt


medium high heat, skillet, melt butter, add mushrooms, add about a tbsp of sea salt, reduce and brown until water is gone and mushrooms bubble in butter. Mushrooms should have reduced in size to a third and browned, about 15mins.

add a cup of turkey stock to the skillet and reduce until syrupy, then add another ladle and repeat until flavor richness is adequate. That’s relative. I used 6 ladles of stock.

finish with chervil, about 1 1/2 tbsp
add about 150g of cream
add about 2 tbsp of flour to add extra body


Stir at medium heat until thickened to coat the back of a spoon.

Adjust with salt if necessary (turkey stock carries some salt from the brine + the tbsp we added earlier)

Pommes Duchesse:

2 large starchy potatoes like Russet.
2 large egg beaten
100g unsalted butter
Salt to taste


Boil potatoes in a pot fille with water until tender
Drain, and place pot on a stove on medium heat, dehydrate until mash feels dry.
Add butter and mix (i use an immersion blender to get a creamy texture)
Let cool down until under 60C, add the beaten eggs and mix well
Pour the mix into a pastry bag and pipe the little puffs on a silpat
Make an egg wash, brush the puffs.
Bake in a hot oven at 420f for about 15mins or until golden

For serving:

Let the turkey rest on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
Slice the breasts in medallions, pour mushroom sauce over
place a couple of pommes duchesse puffs next to it
garnish with a sprig of thyme and sage.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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