Padma Lakshmi's Top Tips For Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Despite the incessant Christmas advertisements, we still have to get through Thanksgiving and with that, any Thanksgiving cooking needed to properly celebrate the holiday. For anyone feeling overwhelmed, Padma Lakshmi shared on Twitter a conversation she had with Jimmy Fallon regarding her turkey tips six years ago. "Don't be afraid of the juice," she commanded.

In the video, Lakshmi begins by soaking the turkey in salted and sugared buttermilk, to which Fallon throws in the required late-night show response that he does the same for hot dogs. The reason for the buttermilk is that it breaks down the dark meat of the turkey better. Next, after the turkey's legs and thighs have soaked for three days, you cook the turkey overnight with apples and oranges stuffed into the body. Now comes the terrifying juice: Take that juice and add butter and flour and voila, you have gravy. 

All of that, Lakshmi conveyed in a forty second clip. So, many might still have questions about each step. After six years, though, she has finally shared her recipe for roast turkey with The New York Times

Talking with Delish, Lakshmi gives an additional tip for the would-be Thanksgiving chef, saying that the leftover turkey and vegetables should be used for a turkey pot pie.

Padma Lakshmi's turkey highlights her Taste the Nation project

The real reason why Padma Lakshmi has shared the process behind her Thanksgiving turkey is that the second season of her television show Taste the Nation has aired.

The slow roasted turkey recipe she shared also features as the dish she cooks in a profile written by The New York Times celebrating her approach to food, which is usually meaningful and story-driven. "In the kitchen," Manu Nathan, Padma Lakshmi's second cousin, explains, "She talks about where she was when she had the dish, when she was there and who she was with, and she describes it all to you. When you're eating the food, you feel like you're engaging in the experience as well. They're able to take you to a different place.."

It also conveniently ties into how this season of Taste the Nation visits the the Mashpee and Aquinnah communities, which were involved in what is mythologized as "The first Thanksgiving."  In a separate tweet promoting the season, Lakshmi shares a trailer in which one interviewee says, "We didn't greet the pilgrims and go 'Oh welcome, we have turkey.'" That lack of turkey and the years of development involved in Lakshmi's home-cooked approach to Thanksgiving tie together nicely for any piece showing Lakshmi's people-orientated sensibility in food.