Chef Clay’s Best Thanksgiving
Clay Purcell has been cooking professionally for 27 years, and his career has included stints at Hyatt Hotels in San Francisco, Hollywood, Palm Springs, Monterrey, and Sacramento. He has been Executive Chef at Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade for over 6 years and has won numerous awards including best chefs of Sacramento, Vegan Challenge, Pork Counsel, and the Ultimate Club House Sandwich Contest to name a few.
He is married to MyFolsom’s own Kimberly ‘Amethyst Organizing’ Purcell and has been living in Folsom for over 6 years.
Scott Leysath, host The Sporting Chef
Better known as The Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath is a leading authority on the proper preparation of fish and game. He is the author of two “The Sporting Chef’s Wild Game Recipes” cookbooks. He is also the cooking editor of the Ducks Unlimited Magazine and writes for a number of other publications like California Waterfowl Magazine, South Carolina Waterfowl Association’s Waterfowl and Wetlands and Cooking Wild Magazine.
The 3rd season of ‘The Sporting Chef’ will air in January 2015 on Sportsman Channel, available locally on Comcast 405, Dish 285 and 395, and Direct TV 605.
Scott has been a Folsom resident for 14 years.
I asked him for his favorite turkey recipe, along with favorite thanksgiving sides. Check out what he came up with:
What I’m about to tell you might not make much sense. Stay with me. My goal is for you to enjoy the best-tasting Thanksgiving turkey ever. As a matter of fact, the method I use to ensure that my holiday turkey is almost fall-off-the-bone delicious is the same one I use for just about any light-skinned bird, wild or domestic.
Basting Won’t Help…Really (unless you’re going for crispy skin)
Traditionally, even though the breast cooks quicker than the thighs, turkeys are cooked breast side up so that the lighter meat is dry and overcooked before the darker meat is done. Oh sure, you can baste ‘till the cows come home, but all that will do is to make the skin crispier. The basting ritual doesn’t help make the breast meat juicy. Watch as the basting liquid runs down the skin and into the bottom of the roasting pan where the back of the bird bathes in a hot tub of flavor. How about cooking a turkey with the breast side down?
Cut a couple of onions into wedges. Chop up some celery and carrots. Place the trussed turkey in a well-greased pan, breast side down, and use the onion wedges, carrots and celery as chock blocks to keep it from pitching to one side or the other. This will also add flavor to the pan drippings. Once your turkey is nestled comfortably in the pan, place into a preheated 350 degree oven, uncovered, for 2 – 3 hours, depending on the size of the bird. Let your meat thermometer, not the clock, determine how long the bird will cook. After an hour or so, add about 1/2 inch of chicken broth to the pan, cover with foil and return to the oven. Check the temperature at the thigh in about an hour or so. When it is reaches 165 degrees, the really important part happens. Wait, 165 degrees? Notoriously inaccurate domestic turkey pop-up timers do their thing at 185 degrees. You’re gonna kill somebody! We’re not done.