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Welcome to the best turkey of your life. For our Thanksgiving centerpiece, we reached for the chef's tin of our house Tandoori Masala. Instead of yogurt, we took a page out of Samin Nosrat's book, and reached for good ol' buttermilk. Combined with the masala, plus some extra Surya Salt and Madhur Jaggery, the spiced buttermilk brine imbues the meat with deep savory, fragrant flavor and keeps things nice and juicy. Plus, the combination of the buttermilk and the jaggery — and some well-timed butter basting — results in deeply burnished, perfectly rendered skin (get ready for audible wows when you bring it to the table).
The other key to a never-dry, succulent turkey? Roasting it in pieces. This ensures both the dark meat and white meat can be cooked to the right temperatures, without drying our the whole bird. If breaking down a turkey intimidates you, join the club! The first time I looked at a whole bird on my cutting board, it felt like a daunting task, but I promise, you can do it. Just take your time, breathe, and take it piece by piece — or, if you’re lucky enough to have a nice butcher, ask them to break your turkey down into 5 pieces (bone-in breasts connected at the breast bone, two legs, and two wings). And, don’t forget to save the backbone and giblets for stock (I make a small batch of turkey stock with the roasted backbone, giblets, and veggie scraps to bolster my gravy).
Cook's note: If you're roasting a whole turkey and want to turn our Tandoori Masala into a dry brine, you can 1 tablespoon masala, 1¼ teaspoons Surya Salt, and ½ teaspoon Madhur Jaggery per 1 pound of turkey. Season the turkey liberally with the dry brine, and let marinate in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours before roasting.