Chef Samin Nosrat’s Rather Gruesome Technique Will Give You the Tastiest Turkey This Thanksgiving
Samin Nosrat has risen to fame with her Netflix show Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and has helped many home cooks perfect their technique with her cookbook of the same name. While we know that not all cooking shows are completely honest about the dishes they create, celebrity chef Nosrat uses her platform to pull from authentic preparation techniques across many cultures and isn’t afraid to demonstrate that the process isn’t always picture perfect.
If you’re looking to enjoy your tastiest Thanksgiving turkey, Nosrat has a tip — but beware. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Samin Nosrat has an appreciation for cultural traditions
She started her cooking career with training at the Berkeley culinary school Chez Panisse. It was founded by the food activist Alice Waters, one of the women who British royal family member Meghan, Duchess of Sussex considers a huge influence. The focus on locally-grown and sustainable food choices, as well as an appreciation for the cultures in which the traditions come from, helps define Nosrat’s success.
Nosrat explained that she is compassionate about her work, and she felt like television was a way to bring it to life for a large number of followers: “Right now, the reason I cook and the reason I care about this as a line of work is that it’s kind of like the lowest-hanging fruit in terms of [being] the tool for a storyteller; to tell universal stories, connect people from diverse backgrounds, increase curiosity, and teach you about the world.”
‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ has many fans
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat came to the air amid a sea of cooking shows, but it managed to stand out from the crowd. The Washington Post noted that it was unlike any other show on the air: “It is Netflix’s first instructional cooking show, and it doesn’t look anything like the rest of that genre, which is too often the domain of cheerful domestic goddesses in glossy, polished kitchens.”
Each episode of the show focuses on a different element from the title, and it adds in traveling.
Nosrat herself is also a huge part of the appeal. She’s real and filled with relatable flaws.
“She winces and cries her way through dicing a pile of onions. She makes mistakes, as she does when making a loaf of focaccia, and owns up to them,” Washington Post writer Maura Judkis explains.
More than anything, Nosrat lets viewers know that the knowledge and skills that she builds to create delicious meals are available to them, too.
Samin Nosrat has a tip for the tastiest turkey
If you’re looking to really impress with your Thanksgiving turkey, then Nosrat has a tip that will definitely help — but it’s a bit gruesome. In a video for NYT Cooking, Nosrat makes it clear that the trick to getting the perfect, crispy golden brown skin so many people want on their turkeys is a technique called spatchcocking.
What’s spatchcocking? It involves cutting out the backbone of the turkey and spreading it out on the pan. Nosrat walks viewers through the process in the video by first snipping off the wingtips and then taking a pair of kitchen shears to the bird’s back. She says that it’s “one straight line” and that there’s “not really complicated butchering to do,” helping to assure viewers who may not be used to getting so up-close-and-personal with their dinner that they can pull it off.
She also shares a tip that one of the chefs she’s met along her journey passed on to her. Rather than do one side of the backbone completely and switch to the other, she switches back and forth between them so that she completes the entire task at roughly the same time on both sides. This “zigzag” technique makes it a little easier.
When Nosrat finishes removing the backbone she explains that she is going to “use all of my body weight” to press down and flatten the carcass. Don’t worry, she insists, when you “hear a couple cracks.” It’s as easy as that!