How To Spatchcock Your Turkey

How To Spatchcock Your Turkey // Wit & VinegarLet’s talk about spatchcocking, the word that seems like it should be an entry on urban dictionary but is actually the removing of the backbone on your bird so it can lay out flat and cook evenly. I’ve been doing for years now for my thanksgiving turkey and every chicken that’s not a rotisserie from Costco 🙃

I know you’re probably thinking why? Why do I need to go out of my way to Terry Dubrow a turkey before it goes into the oven? It seems a little daunting the first couple times because you’re literally cutting through bones like this is a saw movie but once you get it, you get it. Obviously there’s some good to this method, I’m a lazy bitch where minimum effort always tries to meet maximum results:

First up, the time. We’re talking an hour for a 14 pound bird, none of this 3 1/2 hours mess when you’ve got pies and stuffing to get going.

When you roast the bird for less time it means less of a chance for it to dry out. It’s roasted for less time because spatchcocking it flattens it out, letting all the meat cook evenly. When you just throw a whole bird in the white meat ends up cooking first, then continues to cook while we sit around and wait for the dark meat to finish cooking, resulting in white meat that has a close relationship to chalk. This also means no brining nonsense.

The final yahoo about the process is that you need somewhere for that backbone to go when it’s removed and the answer is bonus turkey stock. Usually you have to buy extra wings or legs beforehand to make a stock so you can have the gravy with the meal but now with all this happening you can make a quick simple stock, while the turkey roasts, and have really great rick gravy for thanksgiving dinner.

Now that we’ve gone over the why we can go over the how. First up is the cast of characters:

  1. The turkey itself. This one’s 14 lbs, that’s usually the one I go for in the store because I think it’s perfect for spatchcocking, but you can go up to 20 lbs if you’re my mom and you need that much turkey for dinner, you’ll just adjust the time and need a larger baking sheet.
  2. The flavor. Butter (or another fat) and aromatics help a lot with adding flavor to the breast meat under the skin because it really does need the help, or else you’ll just end up with a nice moist turkey breast that tastes like something that resembles a sponge. I used butter, garlic, and salt for this guy but I tried Adrianna’s mojo turkey and it miiiight just be my favorite flavor combo for turkey day.
  3. Baking sheets. I’ve got every size under the sun because I do so much recipe development but I stock up at restaurant supply stores (shout out to chef’s toys in southern california) because they’re so affordable. I used a half sheet pan for this turkey, but anything bigger and the baking sheet should go up to a full size. Just to be safe, I’d buy a few, you’ll end up using them somewhere else in the dinner process.
  4. Kitchen Shears. Like I mentioned up above we’re cutting through bones, so you need something that can cut through bones. The good news is that they don’t need to be super high end, these were 2.99 from Target. We don’t have expensive scissors because there’s a weird void in the Wit & Vinegar/Chicano Eats household that just finds them and sucks them up and away forever.
  5. Crispy Golden Skin Assistance. I used olive oil for this turkey but you could totally use canola or vegetable. The goal is to add some extra fat to make the skin golden brown and crispy and it helps with holding onto the seasonings.
  6. Salt and Pepper, lots of it. Any extra special flavor is going down under the skin, but we do need the skin itself to taste good, and this also leeches down into the drippings, which is important for the gravy/life.

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How To Dessert Table

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Pyrex. All opinions are my own.

T-minus 10 days to the big day that is Thanksgiving, my super bowl, my yearly pièce de résistance.

I love it all mainly because of the food, always the food, but I also love to just sit around and get that two-fer one of hanging out with friends and family and getting to enjoy foods that have a level of comfort that not much else can reach.

This year I teamed up with Pyrex to test run my first year hosting skills for a Friendsgiving, taking the helm of what might be the most important part: the dessert table. For me, the Friendsgiving idea is so perfect because it usually means everyone brings something so it’s less work for me, something I always welcome.

Double Chocolate Mousse Trifle // Wit & VinegarWhen hosting a Friendsgiving it’s actually against the rules to not make the turkey so I’m stuck with that (more coming later this week) but then I also offered to make all the desserts because when I say I have a sweet tooth it’s actually just half of my mouth. A whole party of sweets that can be made the day ahead is exactly what every gathering needs, with something that can sort of fit the bill for any sort of craving. We’ve got something citrus, cookie status, and chocolatey/creamy. It’s like I’m getting married, but to Thanksgiving.

Grapefruit Buttermilk Custard // Wit & VinegarPyrex is all about love – the love that goes into making a dish and the love that goes into sharing it. This whole thing is exactly that.  Not only is everything perfect for a Friendsgiving, but almost all the Pyrex dishes I used (including the custard dish!) have lids that can just pop on and go with someone when the party’s over because lord knows the last thing I need is a giant bowl of chocolate mousse trifle staring me in the face.

Deep Dish Toffee Nut Chocolate Chip Cookie // Wit & VinegarI jumped at the chance to work with Pyrex because working with companies that I use every single day is the best thing I could ask for, and they went ahead and hooked us up with some goodies! 20% off on their website with the code PYREXLOVE20, aaaand a giveaway! Over $140 worth of product, just head over to instagram to enter.

Special shout out to Pyrex for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/grooving.

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Berry Smash Lime Poppyseed Cake

Berry Smash Lime Poppyseed Cake // Wit & VinegarHappy first day of fall here is the total opposite of a fall recipe for those of use that don’t have the weather to match the pumpkin we’re all chomping at the bit to inhale.

The weather in SoCal has been super wishy washy lately, I could’ve just worn a tee and no pants yesterday but then a hoodie was needed this morning when I took the dogs out, and then of course the mood swing continues with a high of 90 next week.

But all that is great because we have this cake that’s fun and delicious and has all of my favorite spring/summer things so we can be cool and not uncool and have this when it’s 90 and crack open the can of pumpkin when I’m forced to wear pants.

Berry Smash Lime Poppyseed Cake // Wit & VinegarThis gem comes from Naomi over at Baker’s Royale, queen of baking, queen of blog pastries, queen of oven treats. We can now add cookbook to that whole list. I’ve been a huge fan of Naomi’s since forever, so it was great when we went from internet friends to real life friends/styling buddies when I went to go and work with her on prepping and styling for her book.

It ended up being the perfect combo of us and the photographer with her assistants that seriously made it one of the best shoots to work on, hands down, greased gears x 100. It helped that we all had a mild obsession with coffee and the baked goods we were pumping out.

Berry Smash Lime Poppyseed Cake // Wit & VinegarThe book itself is really great and fun with all the twists on classic desserts with new ones added in, everything looks delicious and I can guarantee it all tastes good too. This cake was one of my favorites on the shoot because the combo of the tart jam filling and lime poppyseed cake was so spot on perfect and I loved how it’s a nice surprise when you cut into it, almost like a jelly donut that won’t ruin your favorite blouse.

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Coney Dogs

Coney Sauce for Coney Dogs // Wit & VinegarI’m just a guy, standing here, asking you to give coney dogs a chance.

Only because you’re going to probably scroll past this whole post down to the recipe and go jesus, I just want a chili dog why are there so many ingredients and what the shit is allspice, cinnamon and yellow mustard doing in there. I get it, I do, it’s weird (only a little weird for me because I made this chili a while back with the same spice profile), weird enough for my mom to doubt me when I told her about them and what I was putting in the chili but guess what she ate 2 hot dogs aaand all of her words.

Coney Dogs are a super regional thing, originating in of all places not coney island but Detroit. I only know of them because growing up our dad would take us to the Coney Island Restaurant when we were in Downtown Fresno and they were so good. and so different. Hot Dogs covered in sauce like chili covered in yellow mustard and white onion, like a buck a piece so I would get 3 and eat them all in less than 5 minutes like my life depended on it no regrets.

The last time I was up in Northern California visiting my family I was talking to my sister about the chili dogs and we both agreed that we needed to figure out a recipe, find the spice that was in there, nancy drew that shit. I did the research and discovered the chili dogs were in fact a thing, the Coney Sauce was laced with allspice and cinnamon, depending on where you got them and they were always topped with a squiggle of yellow mustard and diced onion. 5 batches of chili later we’ve landed on what I think is as close as I can get to that magic I remember from almost 20 years ago.

Next time you’re in need of a chili dog go for this stuff. It’s saucy, spicy, and interesting, exactly what a chili dog should taste like, praise be the chili dog. And if you wanna know more about the coney dog and the coney sauce, of course you do because you’re weird like me, here are a couple videos, one of which also explains the mystery of what had happened to Audrina Patridge.

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Izy’s Blitzed Corn Pizza

THIS ONE’S FOR U TOMATO HATERS! **Plays Pizza Bagel song while running on stage and throwing this pizza into the crowd even though no bagels are involved because my catalog of pizza songs is very limited, sue me.**

This recipe is exactly what it sounds like if it sounds like we’re using blended up corn instead of a tomato sauce and it’s genius (all thanks to my v cool friend Izy Hossack, of top with cinnamon fame). Her book The Savvy Cook came out last month and it’s full of of just really good, simple dishes that anyone can make.

Everything has limited ingredients, there’s a helpful section with each recipe to help use up any leftovers you might have, and it’s all vegetarian. * But very filling vegetarian because that’s Izy’s magical talent.

The corn on the pizza though is so so smart and perfect for all the corn in the grocery stores right now. It plays just like a tomato sauce with a little bit more of a creamy texture. To make sure it’s not too sweet, because corn is perfect right now, we just add some salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes and it’s perfection. If you’re looking for a good cookbook with simple filling recipes go buy Izy’s Book. RIIIIGHT NOWW.

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Brown Butter Honey Graham Cake + S’mores Trifles

Hello Hi Happy Tuesday I brought you the thing that everybody loves on instagram during the summer: S’mores. But because I’m just as extra as I am basic I went and put together a whole trifle situation that involves cake, pudding, and marshmallow fluff. Wonderteam extra powers activate.

I’ve actually wanted to make a honey graham cake for a while now so I could have some sort of alternative to the classic cracker in desserts or to use with fruits during the summer and then it just happened that Bob’s Red Mill wanted to collaborate on something and praise be, the Brown Butter Honey Graham Cake was born.

There were actually several no-go’s before the final cake had happened. It’s tricky baking with whole wheat flour and not getting a super crumbly end result but luckily the honey helps out with that a little, but there’s still a lesser amount of the graham flour that could be used than all-purpose to give us a nice crumb. After a few failed loaves I landed on the idea of melting the butter to give it more of a pound cake consistency and less of a cakey consistency then went one step further by browning the butter. Usually with brown butter you need to use more so you don’t lose the moisture but that honey came in and swept me off my feet yet again which was great because that nutty flavor you get from browned butter works magic and gives you even more of that classic graham cracker flavor profile.

I think the cake by itself is fantastic, I really do (I’d eat it with half a jar of peanut butter if it wasn’t socially unacceptable) and it’s perfect for all the summer produce that might need a hearty pairing but there’s something magical about combining it with a rich pudding and meringue faux fluff that makes me happy I have another vehicle for s’mores flavor consumption.

Special shout out to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post and helping keep this site/me moving/shaking/grooving.

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