Grilled Turkey with Blackened Chile Vinegar

Curtis Stone of Gwen in Los Angeles grills this turkey over an applewood-burning fire pit. The blackened chile vinegar adds some heat.
Photo by Penny de los Santos

Courtesy Curtis Stone, Gwen, Los Angeles

Curtis Stone’s newest L.A. restaurant, Gwen, doubles as a butcher shop and specializes in fire-based cooking and creative charcuterie. His turkey rillettes are an easy and inspired use for leftovers. Stone grills his turkey over an applewood-burning firepit; you can toss applewood chips over coals or use a wood chip box in a gas grill.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 14–16-pound turkey, backbone removed and flattened (ask butcher to butterfly or spatchcock)
  • 5 ounces Fresno chilies (or jalapeños)
  • ¾ cup Sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups turkey stock or high-quality chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, for garnish
Directions

In small skillet over medium heat, cook coriander, fennel and cumin seeds, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until fragrant and starting to turn color. Grind into powder in a spice or coffee grinder. Combine with paprika and 2 tablespoons salt.

Pat turkey dry. Coat with spice mixture. Place turkey on wire rack in grill-proof rimmed baking sheet (or disposable foil pan). Refrigerate, uncovered, 8–24 hours.

Heat grill for indirect cooking. (For charcoal grill, heat coals on one side of grate. For gas grill, heat one burner on medium-high. Close lid and heat to 400˚–425˚F)

To make chili vinegar, char chilies on lighted side of grill, turning often. Let cool. Scrape off most of blackened skin, but not all. Remove stems and chop coarsely (remove seeds for a milder sauce). Combine with vinegar, oil, shallots, sugar and 1 tablespoon salt. Set aside at least 1 hour. (Can be made up to 3 days ahead.)

Meanwhile, to cook turkey, place baking sheet on cool side of grill. Close grill hood and cook, turning 180˚ halfway through cooking, until turkey is dark golden and meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 160˚F, about 2 hours. Let turkey rest on cutting board for 20–40 minutes. Skim and discard fat. Reserve pan juices and any browned bits scraped from pan.

To make gravy, combine reserved pan juices and stock in saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Melt butter in separate saucepan over medium heat. Add flour. Whisking constantly, cook until it browns slightly and smells nutty. Whisk in stock mixture and cook until thick, about 3 minutes. Salt to taste.

Carve turkey, and garnish with oregano leaves. Serve with gravy and chili vinegar. Serves 12–14.

Pair It

Noble Vines 2013 337 Cabernet Sauvignon (Lodi); $15, 90 points.

This chunky wine has full body, ample tannins and a nicely astringent mouthfeel. It shares smoky, toasted and spicy aromas with the wood-grilled turkey and charred chilies, and its bright cranberry flavors complement the bracing vinegar sauce.

Published on November 15, 2016
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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