Thanksgiving Turkey Carving with Mark Estee

A few weeks ago we asked Mark Estee, of Liberty Food & Wine Exchange, if he’d be interested in doing a demo for the Reno Dads (and our awesome community) on how to carve a Thanksgiving turkey. We sat down this weekend and “talked turkey” about family traditions, how to prepare the bird for roasting (or frying), and how to prepare a great centerpiece to the Thanksgiving meal.

We’ve posted the video in 2 parts: Talking Turkey and Carving the Bird.

Talking Turkey

Mark’s got over 15 years in hotels and restaurant experience, and his primary piece of advice: buy a good bird. If you can find a heritage/organic butcher in your town, the fresh birds are a better option, but even a frozen supermarket bird can be very tasty, if you leave yourself enough time and prep it properly.

  • The brine should be 1 cup of kosher salt to 1 gallon of water, and brining should take 24-36 hours, which means that you need to have time to thaw the turkey completely before it goes into the brine. Add to the brine whatever spices you like — Mark recommended rosemary, thyme, fresh bay leaves, sage, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt & pepper.
  • Roasting the turkey: 325°F for 15 minutes / pound of turkey. Mark recommends starting the bird upside-down, for the first 30% of cooking time. Only use foil if the legs need it at the end.
  • Rest the bird on top of the oven for at least 30 minutes.
  • Using the giblets (other “bits”) to make the gravy. Brown the parts, add some turkey/chicken stock, add the drippings, and add flour to make gravy.
  • Frying a turkey: make sure to measure the amount of water and mark that volume so not to overfill the oil.

Carving the Turkey

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