Come Thanksgiving, everything revolves around the turkey. Countless hours are spent looking up turkey recipes for ideas on how to properly prep, baste and roast, hoping that when it's done, it comes out crispy golden brown on the outside and succulent on the inside.
When that show stopping centerpiece hits the table, the honored home chef carves it with a proud smile. At least that's what we all hope for. Spending countless hours fussing over a turkey can still result in a dried out bird. If you want to make the best turkey you can get this Thanksgiving, then take a note from the guys over at ChefSteps.
By using his method of separating the breast and the legs, then cooking sous vide, you can achieve the best turkey your Thanksgiving table has seen yet. Even better, you can do it in advance, allowing you to free up that oven for all your delicious Thanksgiving sides.
The key to this sous vide trick is separating the legs and the breasts. First, butcher the bird - saving the scraps for a killer gravy - and sear the breasts and legs for two minutest then pack those nicely seared pieces tight into two separate Ziploc bags. Add a little seasoning and fresh herbs on the meat side - to prevent the delicate herbs from burning. Now you're ready to sous vide.
The cooking degree will vary slightly between the breasts and legs, but the good news is this method is insanely forgiving. The legs are best cooked at 150°F for 12-24 hours, while the breasts should be done at 130°F for the same amount of time. You can even start cooking the legs, turn down the degrees, and then add in the breasts to cook both at the same time.
Whether you choose to then sear, grill, smoke, or deep fry your turkey, it will come out tender and juicy the way it was meant to on Thanksgiving.