Your Total Sous Vide Turkey Guide | Anova Culinary

Your Total Sous Vide Turkey Guide

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and we’re here to make your day more delicious – and easier than ever. Check out the recipes below to nail your Thanksgiving centerpiece – whether you want a whole bird, a smoked and sous vide breast, or just juicy dark and white meat cooked separately, we got a recipe for you!

Sous Vide Whole Turkey

Look out Norman Rockwell, there’s a new centerpiece in town, and it’s sous vide. It’s often said you must break your turkey down in multiple parts to properly sous vide. With some broth and a large bag, we’re getting wicked-juicy turkey to the table easier than ever.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 whole turkey, 10-14 pounds
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper, or rub of your choice
  • 2 gallon / large resealable bag

Directions:

  1. Set your Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 150ºF / 65.6ºC
  2. Season turkey as desired. Place in large resealable bag (we used two gallon freezer bags). Pour all of the stock until turkey is submerged.
  3. Place in water bath and sous vide for 24 hours.
 

Finishing Steps:

  1. Carefully remove turkey from bag. Reserve stock if needed (gravy, soup, etc)
  2. Pat turkey dry and let rest on counter for 30 min.
  3. Heat oven to 450°F / 232°C (convection if capable). Place turkey in oven and roast for 30-40 minutes until golden and crispy
  4. Carve, and serve!

Sous Vide + Smoked Turkey Breast

Fan of white meat, or want a smoky finish to your perfectly prepared poultry? This is the recipe for you. An overnight dry brine gives your turkey plenty of flavor of every bite, and the kiss of smoke brings this turkey over the top. (Editors note: this is my personal favorite!)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 boneless turkey breast, 3-5 pounds
  • 1 oz kosher or sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage

Directions:

  1. Season turkey with salt. Place in vacuum bag or resealable ziplock bag. Refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days if needed.
  2. Set Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 150°F / 65.5°C.
  3. Place turkey in water bath and sous vide for 6 hours.

Finishing Steps:

  1. Remove bag of turkey and place in an ice bath for 30-60 minutes. From here, you can store in fridge for up to 5 days prior to finishing and serving. If serving immediately, proceed to next step.
  2. Remove turkey from bag, remove herbs from skin. Season with black pepper. Do not add additional salt until serving, to taste.
  3. Heat smoker or grill to 400°F / 205°C.
  4. Place turkey on smoker and smoke for approx 1 hour – until turkey comes back to original sous vide cook temp.
  5. Immediately slice and serve!

Sous Vide Turkey Pieces

This recipe knocks it out of the park. If breaking down the bird and cooking each piece separate is your jam, cook on – and serve up some stunning turkey.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 whole turkey, 12-15 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  •  teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Zest of one orange

Directions:

  1. Set Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 151°F / 66°C.
  2. Remove the legs from the turkey by cutting through the thigh joint, leaving the thigh and drumstick attached. Next, cut through the ribs to remove the backbone, leaving the remaining bones in the breast.
  3. To make the dry brine, combine the salt, sugar, garlic, fennel, rosemary, red pepper flakes and orange zest I a bowl and mix well.
  4. Season the all of the pieces with generous amount of the dry brine on both sides (you may not use it all).
  5. Place one leg and one wing in each of two large, gallon-sized zip top bags. Place the turkey breast into a large, gallon-sized zip top bag and refrigerate while the legs cook.
  6. Fill a large pot or bowl with room temperature water and lower the open zip top bag into the water. The water pressure will push the excess air out of the bag. When the top of the bag reaches the level of the water, seal the bag.
  7. Transfer the sealed bags with the wings and legs to the preheated water bath and sous vide for 6 hours.
  8. Remove the bags and cool immediately in an ice bath. When chilled, transfer to the refrigerator and store up to 7 days before serving.
  9. Reduce the water bath to 143.5°F / 62°C. Fill a large pot or bowl with room temperature water and lower the open zip top bag containing the turkey breast into the water. The water pressure will push the excess air out of the bag. When the top of the bag reaches the level of the water, seal the bag.
  10. Transfer the sealed bag to the 143.5°F / 62˚C water bath and sous vide for 4 hours. Add the chilled turkey legs to the bath and cook 40 minutes longer to reheat to serve simultaneously.
  11. If not serving immediately, remove the bags and cool immediately in an ice bath. When chilled, transfer to the refrigerator and store up to 7 days before serving. When ready to serve, heat a water bath to 62˚C (143.5˚F) and add the sealed bags of breast and leg to the bath and leave 40 minutes to reheat.

Finishing Steps:

  1. To serve, fill a large sauté pan with canola oil, and heat over high heat until smoking. Sear the breast on the skin side, then turn and baste with butter and herbs (such as thyme, sage, rosemary).
  2. OR, finish by heating the oven to broil and arrange the turkey pieces on a baking pan and place on the middle rack under the broiler under golden brown.
  3. Carve that turkey up and enjoy the best turkey dinner ever!

Sous Vide Turkey Legs

Dark meat the name of your turkey game? We got you 💪

What you’ll need:

  1. Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 145°F (62°C).
  2. Season the turkey with garlic salt and pepper. Place in a large zipper lock or vacuum seal bag with the thyme. Seal the bag using the water immersion technique or a vacuum sealer on the dry setting.
  3. Place the bag in the water bath and set the timer for 14 hours. Cover the water bath with plastic wrap to minimize water evaporation. Add water intermittently to keep the turkey submerged.

Finishing Steps:

  1. When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath. Remove the legs from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Rub with olive oil.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet or broiler for 5 minutes on high heat. Add the turkey legs and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.
  3. Let turkey rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Sous Vide Turkey Breast with Crispy Skin and Gravy

Admittedly, a little bit of a project, any effort you put into this dish will payoff tenfold when you sit down to chow down, but what else would you expect from James Beard Award winner Kenji Lopez-Alt?!  Super tender white breast meat, loaded with flavor, AND crispy skin chips. Mind. Blown.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Large Whole Skin-on, Bone-in Turkey Breast
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp / 15 ml Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Large Carrot, Peeled and Roughly Chopped
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Roughly Chopped
  • 1.5 q / 1.5 L Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp / 5 ml Soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp / 45 g Butter
  • 1/4 c / 30 g Flour

Directions:

  1. Adjust the Precision Cooker to your desired target temperature (take a look at the time and temp guide for some good bets), and start preheating the water. I personally like my turkey cooked at 145°F / 62.8ºC for 2.5 hours.
  2. Starting with a whole turkey breast, remove the skin in one large piece. Use a sharp boning knife to remove the breast halves from the breast bone. (Optional: for gravy, save the breast bone.)
  3. Season the breast halves generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Season the bottoms of the breast halves as well.
  5. Align the two breast halves so that they are matched up like a jigsaw, with the fat end of one lined up with the skinny end of the other.
  6. Gently press the turkey into an even cylindrical shape
  7. Tie the breasts at 1-inch intervals using short lengths of kitchen twine. Start by tying both of the ends, then work your way to the center, alternating ties on each side
  8. Adjust the shape of the turkey again to form a neat cylinder.
  9. You can use a vacuum sealer, but a heavy duty zipper-lock bag will work just as well. Place the turkey inside the bag. At this stage, the turkey can be refrigerated for up to 3 days to dry-brine.
  10. Slowly lower the bag into a pot of water, letting the pressure of the water press air out through the top of the bag.
  11. Once most of the air is out of the bag, carefully seal the bag just above the waterline.
  12. While the turkey cooks, start working on the skin. Adjust the oven temperature to 400°F / 204.5C, then spread your turkey skin out in a single layer on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet.
  13. Season the skin generously with salt and pepper.
  14. Cover the skin with a second sheet of parchment.
  15. Carefully squeeze out any air bubbles.
  16.  Place a second rimmed baking sheet on top of the first to keep the skin flat as it cooks.
  17. Roast the skin in the oven until it is extremely crisp. This takes about half an hour to 45 minutes. The cooked skin can be left to cool at room temperature and stored in an open container for up to a day. Re-crisp it in the toaster oven before serving if it turns soft (though it probably won’t).
  18. For the Gravy: Chop breastbone into 1-inch chunks with cleaver. Heat oil in medium saucepan over high heat until smoking. Add turkey neck, onions, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, about 10 minutes total. Add stock, bay leaves, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour then strain through a fine mesh strainer. You should have a little over a quart of fortified stock. If not, add water or more chicken stock to equal 1 quart. Discard solids and set stock aside.
  19. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, add broth in thin, steady stream. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened and reduced to about 3 cups / 700 ml. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Finishing Steps:

  1. When the turkey is cooked, remove it from the bag and carefully untie all of the strings. The cooked turkey can also be chilled in an ice bath and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat it in a 130°F / 54.4ºC water bath for about an hour before serving.
  2. Slice the turkey using a very sharp chef’s knife and smooth, even strokes.
  3. Arrange the slices in a fanned out array on a cutting board or warmed serving platter and place the skin, broken into individual portion-sized pieces, into a serving vessel. Add a little pitcher of basic gravy made with chicken stock that you’ve fortified by simmering with the turkey breastbone. See steps 18 and 19 in the directions for gravy.
  4. If you want to get extra fancy, you can plate up individual portions of turkey and skin for each guest.
   

Time for Turkey

So. Many. Options. Rest easy, nerds. No matter which recipe you tackle, your turkey is gonna be totally-tubular. Head to our recipes site to search for more Thanksgiving inspiration, and be sure to check out @anovaculinary over on IG to stay up to date on what the #anovafoodnerd fam is cranking out this holiday season.

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