Mark Peel's Thanksgiving

Hosted by

Mark Peel
, chef-owner of Campanile restaurant, talks about his Thanksgiving menu. First, he brines the breast and legs separately. He then roasts the breast and braises the legs.

624 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Braised Turkey
Time: About 3 hours
Makes at least 10 servings


2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage, cut into 2" pieces
1/4 lb pancetta, guanciale or not-too-smoky bacon, cut into 1/2" dice
4 turkey thighs
Salt and black pepper
1 turkey breast, boned to yield 2 halves
1 oz  (more or less) dried porcini or other mushrooms
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 lb celery, trimmed and diced
1 large onion, sliced
Several sage leaves or sprigs of thyme or rosemary
1/2 lb shiitake or other mushrooms, sliced
Stock or water as needed
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add sausage, pancetta and as many thighs as will fit comfortably, skin side down; sprinkle thighs with salt and pepper. Brown all well, removing pancetta first (it will brown first), then sausage; set aside. Turn thighs when they are well browned and cook a minute or so on skinless side. Remove them, too, and repeat with remaining thighs if necessary. Add breast to pan and brown it well, skin side down, then flip and cook for just a minute or so and remove. Set pan aside.

2. Preheat oven to 300°F. Soak porcinis in hot water to cover. In pan used for turkey, cook carrots, celery, onions, sage and shiitakes in leftover fat. When all vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, add drained porcini, reserving liquid. Return pancetta and sausage to pan. Cook another minute and turn off heat.

3. In a large roasting pan, put thighs in corners, browned side up; there should be room for breasts all in one layer. Fill space between thighs with vegetables; leave breasts out for now. Add mushroom soaking liquid, leaving any sand and grit behind. Add stock or water as needed to come about halfway up sides of thighs.

4. Put in oven and roast, uncovered, for 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure liquid level remains sufficiently high and stirring vegetables if they threaten to brown too much. When thigh meat is tender, lay breasts on vegetables and cook until they are done, about a half hour longer.

5. To serve, put vegetables on a platter; slice breasts and lay them on top; shred thigh meat and pile that on the rest.

Recipe courtesy of the New York Times

Music break: Gente Humilde by Baden Powell