Mastering Your Holiday Meal with Tips from James Beard Award-Winning Chef Tom Douglas
Renowned Seattle-based chef shares three takes on the classic holiday turkey with perfect wine pairings
PR Newswire, Woodinville, Wash. December 15, 2016
The holidays are upon us, and relatives are coming from near and far for that memorable holiday feast. There’s nothing that epitomizes a holiday meal quite like a perfectly cooked turkey, but cooking turkey can be both tricky and intimidating. And when it comes to pairing wines with your carefully crafted menu, with so many wines to choose from, were do you start?
Chef Tom Douglas, a three-time James Beard Award-winning restaurateur and cookbook author, shares his three takes on everyone’s favorite holiday bird.
“Turkey is so versatile,” says Douglas. Even when it comes to the traditional whole roasted turkey, there are plenty of ways to spice it up. “I like to put aromatics in the cavity instead of the stuffing,” he says. “I use everything from coffee beans and oranges to shallots and black peppercorns, which infuses the turkey with those subtle aromas and flavors. Then I’ll cook the turkey on a bed of sweet onions, which will melt down and caramelize as the turkey cooks and form the perfect base for a gravy.”
For a different take on turkey that still incorporates the same classic flavors, Douglas prepares just a turkey breast. “I’ll take a raw turkey breast, butterfly it open, put stuffing in the middle, close it up and top it with bacon, tie it together with butcher’s twine and bake it.” Douglas calls this a turkey roulade. “It’s great for a smaller group of say two or four,” he adds.
With more traditional turkey preparations, Douglas recommends either a crisp, high-acid white wine like the Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Dry Riesling or a light-to-medium bodied fruit-forward red wine like the Erath Oregon Pinot Noir. “Between the turkey and the side dishes, you have a lot of different flavors on the holiday table, so I look for versatile wines that pair with a variety of flavors,” he says.
But even when you’re not in the mood for a more traditional holiday meal, Douglas says there’s still a place for turkey on the table. “For a different take on turkey altogether, I like to make turkey meatballs,” he says. “I’ll take ground turkey and mix it with finely chopped sage for the meatballs, and then cook them in a simple tomato sauce like a classic marinara. Then I’ll top them with fried sage and some grated Parmesan cheese for a more unique presentation.”
For a richer turkey dish like his turkey meatballs, Douglas recommends a richer red wine like the 14 Hands Stampede Columbia Valley Red Blend. “A bold, juicy red wine will stand up to a bold preparation of turkey without overpowering the dish,” he adds.
For more information about Chef Tom Douglas, or for more recipes and wine pairings, visit his website at www.tomdouglas.com.
For more information about these particular wines, visit the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates website at www.smwe.com.
About Chef Tom Douglas
Tom Douglas, Seattle-based chef, has been cooking up Pacific Northwest cuisine since 1984, opening his own restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, in 1989. For the last 30 years, he’s made a name for himself alongside business partner and wife Jackie Cross and business partner (since 2006) Eric Tanaka by opening 13 full-service restaurants, an event space, Palace Ballroom, a cooking school, Hot Stove Society, and a product line including rubs, spices and knives. Beyond the restaurants, the James Beard Outstanding Restauranteur award winner has a weekly radio show, Seattle Kitchen, where he talks food, wine, and anything else that’s on his mind. The recognizable chef, self-described as “middle-aged, tall, and round”, can be found at any of his restaurants on a given day putting in the work to create a successful restaurant group. As he reminds himself and his staff, “no one can out effort us.”
About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the third-largest premium wine company in the U.S. The company, located outside of Seattle, Wash., has a distinguished history that dates back more than 80 years to 1934. Wines under the Ste. Michelle label were first introduced in 1967, and since that time the company has expanded its vineyard holdings to more than 3,900 acres in Washington, Oregon and California. Today its ‘String of Pearls’ wine portfolio represents owned or imported brands that demonstrate the producers’ unwavering commitment to creating distinctive, high-quality wines from authentic estate vineyards.
Ste. Michelle’s Washington portfolio includes Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Northstar, Col Solare (in partnership with Italy’s Antinori family), Spring Valley Vineyard, Michelle sparkling wines, Red Diamond and Snoqualmie. In California, the company owns Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (also with Italy’s Antinori family), Conn Creek and Villa Mt. Eden (Napa Valley), and Patz & Hall (Sonoma). Ste. Michelle also owns Erath, in Dundee, Oregon. The company became the exclusive U.S. importer in 2006 for the acclaimed Marchesi Antinori wine portfolio of Italy and Chile’s Haras wines, for Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of France in 2009, for New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate in 2010, for Spain and Chile’s Bodegas Torres in 2014.
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