Malcolm Mitchell: ‘Don’t Turn The Heat Up Too High’

Chef Malcolm Mitchell dropped by The MoJo Show on Tuesday night, and Chris Moore greeted him with some great news: Brian Jones had the night off.

“Good, good,” Mitchell said. “Because guess what? The Giants are doing terrible, and I did not want to hear his mouth.”

All kidding aside, Mitchell stopped by the show to give some serious Thanksgiving Day pointers.

“Thursday’s the big day, baby,” he said. “It’s about to go down.”

Indeed, and as we all know, any great Thanksgiving starts and ends with a great turkey. So, Chef Mitchell, what’s the biggest mistake people make with their bird?

“That they didn’t buy (it) already,” he said. “That’s the biggest mistake. People don’t know that these turkeys are frozen solid. Most of the time, people are buying their turkeys. If they haven’t bought it today, then buy it tomorrow. Listen, it’s going to take you at least 48 hours to thaw that turkey out in your refrigerator. That’s the biggest mistake right there.”

“Another big mistake that people make with the turkeys,” Mitchell continued, “is they turn the heat up way too high when they’re roasting the turkey. They don’t baste their turkey. That’s a big mistake. Basically, you want to get your turkey early. You want to make sure it thaws out unless you’re getting a fresh turkey. Typically, it’s going to take you 15 minutes per pound to cook your turkey. So if you got a 10-pound turkey, do the math.”

Mitchell advised that you cook your turkey at 350 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 165.

“When the turkey is about 165, that’s when you can take it out,” Mitchell said. “It’s going to reach that 165, so you’re cooking any foodborne illnesses out of there – any salmonella or anything like that. But if you take it out at 155, that’s when you’re going to get yourself a dry turkey.”

Mitchell also recommended that you use dark meat – such as the thigh or leg – to test the turkey’s temperature. As for sides, Mitchell loves the traditional Thanksgiving staples: mac and cheese, yams and mashed potatoes. And for dessert, nothing beats bread putting with cherries.

But what about wine? After all, you got to wash it all down, right?

“I don’t know a whole heck of a lot about wine,” Mitchell said. “I’ve always said if you like it, then it’s the wine for you. It’s not about what people say. I always (say) if you’re doing fish or poultry, you’re going to go with white wine. If you’re doing red meat or lamb or anything, you go with a red wine. I do stick to that, but it’s whatever you like. I mean, sometimes it does enhance the meal, but sometimes some people think you’re drinking wine because somebody says, ‘Hey, it goes great with that meal,’ but you may not like the wine. Just pick what you like. If you want beer, drink beer, if you want Kool-Aid, drink Kool-Aid. It doesn’t make a difference. It’s what makes you feel good inside. That’s important to me.”

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