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The 'Absolutely Foolproof' Thanksgiving Turkey Guide, According To Chef Ariane Daguin

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The 'Absolutely Foolproof' Thanksgiving Turkey Guide, According To Chef Ariane Daguin

Ariane Daguin is the chef and owner of D'Artagnan, a renowned gourmet food purveyor company with particular expertise in organic and humanely-raised meats and poultry. She recently shared with Benzinga some of her top turkey making tips and tricks ahead of Thanksgiving.

Poach The Bird: Daguin said her preferred cooking method for all big birds is to poach it the day before.

Poaching is a very popular and go-to cooking method among French chefs. The process consists of simmering a turkey in a pot filled with stock and aromatics for 40 minutes the day before Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving, the home-chef merely roasts the turkey in a very hot oven for 30 minutes followed by cooling it down in the oven for one hour. Entire cooking instructions can be found here.

"It allows a natural brine that makes the cooking absolutely foolproof," Daguin told Benzinga. "Even if you overcook it the day of, it will still be extra moist and flavorful."

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Using D'artagnan's duck and veal demi-glace (a rich and brown sauce) during the poaching process or as a base to create a gravy or sauce will convince guests you "spent all day" in the kitchen.

As a safety precaution, the USDA establishes that a turkey is safe for consumption when cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Side Dishes And Wine: Squash puree or squash soup is a very easy side dish that is ready in 20 minutes on the stovetop and frees up extra space in the oven, Daguin said. Inexperienced home-chefs can also save time and effort by buying pre-sliced vegetables.

If you're serving wine with the turkey, Daguin recommends the following styles:

  • White Wine: Look for a dry and fruity variety like a Chablis or Pouilly-Fume.
  • Red Wine: Look for a light, fruity, and young to drink variety like a Pinot Noir (Burgundy or Oregon), or even better a light red Beaujolais wine.
 

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