For too many years, I worked Thanksgiving Day in my restaurants, and so now make a mission of spending it with my family. In the mornings, we either volunteer at a soup kitchen, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or I am broadcast-preparing turkey on one of the morning news TV shows (sometimes more than one). Then, the family typically gathers in the late afternoon at one of my restaurants. I just love the aromas…the roast turkey (especially the sage and thyme in the stuffing) and the pies; they bring all of us back to childhood days.

If you choose to roast your own turkey, I have some tips, along with a recipe taken from my cookbook, David Burke’s New American Classics: Brilliant Variations on Traditional Dishes for Everyday Dining, Entertaining, and Second Day Meals (Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), which, by the way, would make a great gift for your favorite foodie.


•1 15-lb. free-range turkey, giblets removed and thoroughly rinsed and dried
•Coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
•3 tablespoons olive oil
•Stuffing of your choice
•¼ stick unsalted butter
•¼ Wondra flour
•4 cups turkey or chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350°F. Season turkey, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Using about three tablespoons of the oil, generously coat the skin. Stuff the turkey and truss it together. Place on a wire rack in a roasting pan and roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 325°F and continue roasting for about 1½ hours, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 160°F. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter. Allow to rest 15 minutes before carving.

To make your own turkey broth:
Place giblets in a large saucepan with enough salted cold water to cover them. Add a chopped onion and carrot, along with salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain, discarding solids. (For a richer broth, cook giblets in canned chicken broth.)

MM Bubbles Spread

To make gravy:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, add flour, making sure no lumps form. Whisking constantly, add stock in a slow, steady stream. Bring to a simmer and simmer for five minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour into a gravy boat and lightly tent it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.

We will be serving our first Thanksgiving Dinner at Drifthouse on November 22nd, from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. There will be a prix fixe three course Roast Turkey Dinner menu ($52 for adults, $26 for kids 12 and under), and a limited a la carte menu will be available, too. My latest venture in Sea Bright, Nauti Bar by David Burke, will be serving a more casual bar style menu, but we plan on a turkey dish special there as well. It’s a perfect place after a walk on the beach, and that’ll be a great football day, too, of course, so we have six big screen TVs tuned to your favorite college and NFL teams on both Thanksgiving Day and throughout the weekend. We are also making plans for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

Drifthouse by David Burke
At the Driftwood Cabana Club, 1485 Ocean Avenue,
Sea Bright / 732.530.9760 /
Nauti Bar by David Burke / 732.530.2047 / @Nauitbardb