The Joan Rivers Effect


A couple of readers have written, criticizing the "burned-looking turkey" on our November cover. If you think that turkey was burned, you’ve been bamboozled. Food styling has two camps, and the Thanksgiving turkey is the prime example of ours. When we style food, we actually cook the recipes just as they’re written. Our turkey hasn’t been polyurethaned, nor half-cooked then painted with Gravy Master or other food dye. There are a million sneaky tricks, but that’s not our style. We roast ours until it’s done, and if it doesn’t sit out dangerously long, we actually divvy it up and take it home for dinner. We’re cooks, not charlatans. I do use one technique that I don’t advise you use at your Thanksgiving. Sometimes the turkey sits around while props, models, angles, and a million other details get worked out and the skin gets wrinkly. A few very quick sweeps with a butane torch just before shooting, and the skin once again becomes youthful and taut. We call it the "Joan Rivers effect." For more behind-the-scenes Thanksgiving bits and bobs, check out the CBS Sunday Morning program scheduled to air November 12 and watch as the Gourmet staff endlessly obsesses over all things Thanksgiving.

Gourmet’s Thanksgiving turkey

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