Eric Ripert’s Thanksgiving Turkey

By on November 18, 2019

Several years ago at holiday time,  Eric Ripert posted his own favorite way to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey.  Our family liked it so well, we have never done a turkey any other way.  We always do Eric Ripert’s turkey.  And the first step is buying a top quality turkey. I usually order the turkey a good 10 days out from the holiday and instruct the butcher to cut the breast apart from the rest of the bird.

Because one of the secrets to Eric Ripert’s turkey is that the breast is roasted, and the rest of the bird is whacked up and made into a luscious dressing.  Here’s how:

Eric Ripert’s Thanksgiving Turkey: Two Ways Redux

By  on November 10, 2015

For a true Gallic Thanksgiving,  book yourself into Ripert’s restaurant,  Le Bernadin. One of the top five restaurants in New York and not to be missed.Eric Ripert's restaurant Le Bernadin

So what do you get using Eric’s method?  A turkey breast that’s been browned in butter – a lot of butter – then roasted, and cabbage leaves stuffed with a braised mixture of dark turkey meat and vegetables.  The au jus is heaven.  Yes, it takes two days to make it, but trust me when I tell you,  you will want to kiss the chef once you try his method.  Well,  you’d probably want to kiss him anyway.  He’s that handsome.  Thank you, chef.

I’ve made a few accommodations to his original recipe, but nothing too drastic.  I do order an organic turkey from the best grocery store in my town, South Orange’s Ashley Marketplace  the butcher Marty cuts it into pieces for me.  The breast is roasted,  the rest of it is braised.  Serve with Cranberry Sauce.  Yummy.

Our family would faint if I didn’t make the Eric Ripert Turkey.  This year,  the umpteenth time I’ve made it,  I’m using that carrot parsnip side, along with brussels and bacon (recipe to come).

Eric Ripert’s Turkey Two Ways

serves up to 12 peopls

1 (20 lb.) turkey

2 bottles Chilean red wine

1 medium sweet onion, peeled and chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped

1 celery rib, trimmed and chopped

2 clove garlic, sliced

1 bouquet garni (see note)

Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper to tasteeric ripert cooks

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 quart chicken stock

1 large head green cabbage, cored and leaves separated

1/2 pound butter to grease pan.

1. Remove the legs from the turkey and separate into drumsticks and thighs. Remove the backbone and cut breast in half. Remove the wingtips. (If you are not adept at butchery, ask the butcher to do this.) Reserve neck, all bones and wings for stock. Cover and refrigerate the breast.

2. Place the leg parts, wine, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and bouquet garni in a bowl. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Drain the legs, thighs and vegetables, then boil the wine and bouquet garni, skimming off any foam for 15 minutes, reducing it by one-third. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, separate the turkey leg pieces and vegetables. Place 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Season the leg parts on both sides with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the leg parts and sear until lightly browned, about 4 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate.

5. Add remaining oil to the pot. Add the vegetables and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes, until flour is toasted. Add wine and stir to release any browned bits. Return the legs, thighs and bouquet garni to the pot, add chicken stock and simmer until meat falls off the bone, about 2 hours.turkey two ways veg in wine in a skillet

6. Drain legs, thighs and vegetables and strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan and set aside. Place the vegetables into a bowl. When the turkey is cool enough, remove the meat from the bones and shred into a bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid.cabbage rolls

7. Make the Cabbage Rolls. You can do this NOW  or you can do it the day before and refrigerate until serving time. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cabbage leaves and cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove leaves and plunge them into ice water; drain. Trim the ends of the tough central rib from the leaves. Place a cabbage leaf on a cutting board (use two if they are small) and place 3 tablespoons of the leg meat and 1 tablespoon of the vegetables at one end. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the sides and roll up like an envelope. Repeat. (You should have about 25-20 parcels.) Place in a large buttered baking pan, seam side down. Cover with foil. Bake about 20 minutes.

8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a roasting pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Season the breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. When butter is sizzling, add the breasts, skin down. Sear about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast breasts for 45 minutes, or until they’ve reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees (use an instant read thermometer) basting with more butter every 5 minutes. Remove and let rest for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

9. To serve, bring reserved liquid to a simmer and cook until the sauce lightly coats the back of a spoon. Add a tablespoon or so of Wondra Flour.  Stir and cook to make a good sauce. . Slice the breast meat. Place one cabbage parcel on each plate and fan out 3 slices of breast on top. Spoon the sauce around and serve.


About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”