A gourmet’s alternative to a plain old roasted bird: brined, roasted breast and the legs cooked confit-style.
What to buy: Look for a fresh turkey. They end up crispier and tastier than previously frozen ones. If you do go with a frozen turkey, make sure it’s completely thawed before roasting (this will take several days in the refrigerator).
Duck fat can be found at butcher shops or at the meat counter of gourmet grocery stores.
Game plan: To get an accurate reading, measure the temperature of the turkey on the inside of the thigh and make sure the thermometer is not touching the bone.
For the brined breast:
For the confit:
For the mushroom sauce:
Beverage pairing: Bouchard Ainé & Fils Pommard, France. So much preparation for the turkey merits a nice wine. The mushrooms in the sauce suggest one of their favorite mates, Pinot Noir from Burgundy. The village of Pommard makes a Pinot with nice fruit, but also a lovely earthy quality, just like the mushrooms. Its fine-but-rich tannins will spice up the turkey nicely.