Andrew Zimmern on Thanksgiving turkey at the 2011 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.Andrew Zimmern on Thanksgiving turkey at the 2011 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.
The Zimmern turkey is pretty darn special. We start with one that we purchase from the Minneapolis Farmer's Market or the St. Paul Farmer's Market, from one of the local farms. Free ranging bird, but I like a large breasted white turkey. We rub it down with butter, salt and pepper and let it dry out for a little bit in the refrigerator. Then we stuff it with a very traditional stuffing. I do two. In one I use all of my truffle scraps and foie gras scraps that I save for a year in a little zip lock baggie. And I do it with stale brioche from the local bakery. And lot's of celery leaves and chestnuts and that's killer and then in the other one I do my grandmother's stuffing where you chop up a whole bunch of turkey livers and you put that in there with chestnuts and the chopped celery and onion. So I sort of have one that's traditional and one that sort of [UNKNOWN] on it. And we base the birds with tarragon butter. I just do it low and slow. And my secret, and this is where you need to pay attention. Dark meat takes longer to cook than white meat. So what you do is you poach your bird in an inch of stock in the roasting pan for about 20 minutes, just Get it on the stove, get the stock boiling, poach it, then take it out and then you stuff it. Put it in the rack and roast it, and the part of the bird that's always a little rarer, ends up being perfectly cooked.