Melissa Clark will share a Thanksgiving tip, recipe or idea every day until the holiday arrives. Follow @goodappetite on Twitter so you don’t miss a #DailyTGiving tweet.
This year, instead of brining, I’m going to season my turkey with a fiery chile butter. It will help baste the bird as it roasts, and the drippings will make a base for a fantastic gravy.
This recipe produces a fairly intense compound butter, but nothing too mouth-searing to serve in mixed company (that is, those who love the heat, and those who can’t take it). The butter adds a nice kick to the skin of the bird, but only gently flavors the rest of the meat, making it suitable to serve to spicephobes and small children if you take off the skin first. My 4-year-old adored the thigh meat once I stripped off the skin, which of course I gobbled right up.
If you’re still worried, you can cut back on the chiles; use half the amount.
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
- 3 fat garlic cloves, minced to a paste
- 2 tablespoons chopped sage
- 1 habanero, Scotch bonnet or serrano chile, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
- In a bowl, mash together all the ingredients until smooth. Chill for up to two weeks before using.
Source: The New York Times