Chef Tom Douglas, Coffee-Bean Turkey and The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook

On Wednesday I had the great pleasure of attending my first Macy’s Culinary Council event at the Macy’s in downtown Seattle and . . .  meeting Tom Douglas, culinary icon, chef and restaurateur. Getting to the event took a little coordination and planning. My husband was out of town and my regular nanny couldn’t watch the girls so my dear friend, Victoria, agreed to babysit so I could go meet Tom, get a sneak peek of some of his favorite recipes from his new cookbook, The Dahlia Bakery Cookbooksnag an autographed copy AND get a photo with him.

So, if you know me or read my blog, you know that I am new to the Pacific Northwest. We only moved to Seattle this past January and I didn’t really start diving into the fabulous restaurant scene here until a few months ago. Tom Douglas was the first name that people mentioned to me. Repeatedly.  “You have to go to Dahlia Lounge. You must eat at the Palace Kitchen. You’ve got to get a burger from Brave Horse Tavern. Serious Pie has the BEST freaking pizza . .  the crust, the crust, the crust. .  Hell, after you’ve eaten at the Dahlia Lounge, you MUST have the Triple Coconut Cream Pie at the Dahlia Bakery.” (and the recipe for their Triple Coconut Cream Pie IS in the cookbook, page 161 yo!).  Needless to say, my husband and I are working our way through all 13 of Tom’s restaurants as we speak and I was extremely excited to meet this man.

The event was great. Tom is not only brilliant in the kitchen- obviously- but he’s FUNNY and entertaining. From sipping wine from a measuring cup to telling us about his grandma’s schnecken, I was laughing out loud throughout the evening. I haven’t met a lot of chefs, but the ones I have met have not been as friendly and as entertaining as Tom. This just makes me want to eat HIS food more.

Here’s the line-up of food Tom cooked and we got to taste! Damn, everything tasted delicious but one bite of everything was not enough for me. I definitely left wanting more. :)

  1. Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Broccoli Rabe and Fontina. This was insanely good.
  2. Coffee-Bean Turkey with Sweet Onion Gravy. I ate this bite in less than one second and forgot to photograph it. Damn.
  3. Pear Tarts with Dreamy Caramel Sauce. O.M.G. So freaking yummy.

Tom and Stacy preparing the Pear Tarts.

Now, since the Grilled Cheese and Pear Tarts recipes are in the cookbook, I am not going to publish them here (you gotta buy the cookbook homie!!) BUT I will share the wonderfully delicious Coffee-Bean Turkey with Sweet Onion Gravy recipe! Thanksgiving IS around the corner after all!!!  And yes, I didn’t stutter. Coffee beans in the turkey. You’ve got to check this one out. So, here it is:

Coffee-Bean Turkey with Sweet Onion Gravy
From Tom: “Seattle is famous for its coffee. And that inspired me to stuff the turkey cavity with whole roasted coffee beans. Turns out, they add a nice toasty-smoky aroma that seasons the bird from within. I leave them in even after the turkey is done. If a few slip out, it’s a good conversation starter.” Freaking love this. Tom’s Tip: “If you are stuffing your turkey, be careful not to overstuff it. You want plenty of space for hot air to circulate inside the cavity so the meat cooks evenly.”
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 12

  • 1 fresh whole turkey, 15 pounds
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temp + 6 tablespoons melted (12 tablespoons total)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • ½ cup dark-roast coffee beans
  • 1 tablespoon rendered bacon fat, melted
  • 1 onion, cut in half lengthwise and julienned
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 7 to 8 cups chicken or turkey broth, heated
  • ½ cup instant (quick-dissolving) flour, such as Wondra

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. If the turkey has a metal clamp on its legs, remove it. Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity, if included, and reserve for another use or discard. Remove the cavity fat. Then rinse the turkey well and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. In a small bowl, mash the 6 tablespoons (room temp) butter until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, and starting from the cavity end of the turkey, separate the skin from the breast meat, being careful NOT to tear the skin. Gently rub the softened butter evenly over the breast meat, then insert 6 of the sage leaves under the skin, placing 3 leaves on each breast half. Place the skin back into place, then brush the whole exterior of the bird with the melted butter. Season the turkey all over, including the cavity, with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the coffee beans inside the cavity.
  4. To roast the turkey: Brush the bottom of a roasting pan just large enough to accommodate the turkey with the bacon fat, then make a bed of the onion slices in the center of the pan. Place the turkey, breast side up, on top of all the onions.
  5. Place the turkey in the oven and roast for one hour. Baste the turkey with some of the melted butter and add the garlic, the remaining 6 sage leaves and 5 cups of the broth to the pan. Continue to roast the turkey, basting the butter at regular intervals a few times more, for another 1½ to 2 hours. If the turkey is browning too much, tent with aluminum foil. The turkey is finished when a thigh joint is pierced and the juices run clear OR when an instant -read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh (away from a bone) registers 155 to 165 degrees F.
  6. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to a platter and tent with foil. Let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  7. To make the gravy: Before beginning, remove any stray coffee beans that may have escaped from the turkey cavity into the roasting pan. Set the roasting pan with the onion slices and juices on the stove top over medium high heat. (You may need to straddle the pan over two burners). Using a wooden spoon, stir up any browned bits stuck to the pan bottom and continue stirring for a few minutes. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the onion slices and juices and stir until well combined (for about 2-3 minutes).
  8. Add 2 cups of the broth and any juices that have collected around the turkey on the platter, simmer gently, whisking occasionally, until thickened; about 8-10 minutes. If the gravy is too thick, add some more broth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the gravy into a warmed gravy boat or dish and keep warm. Carve the turkey and serve immediately! Pass the gravy at the table.

Recipe from Tom Douglas from The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving Day & Holiday Cookbook (Book Kitchen, 2011). Chef Tom Douglas, Coffee-Bean Turkey and The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook

I had a fabulous night and will keep you all posted for future Macy’s Culinary Council Events. So, I leave you with 2 things:

  1. If you’re in Seattle, go eat at a Tom Douglas restaurant stat.
  2. Buy this cookbook. Nuff said.


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5 Responses to "Chef Tom Douglas, Coffee-Bean Turkey and The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook"

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  1. Katie

    November 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    How cool! I love Macy’s Culinary Cooking series. I just saw Emeril Lagasse two weeks ago at Macys. Looks like you had a great event!

  2. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    November 12, 2012 at 6:42 am

    That’s so awesome. Glad you were able to meet him, must be a blast. And I’m adding Dahlia on my note!

  3. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    November 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    What a fabulous event to attend! I wish I were in town so that I could’ve gone too. We could’ve scarfed down delish food and oohed & aahed together. I go to Seattle so often but have never eaten at any of Chef Douglas’ restaurants (a crime, I know!), especially the famous Dahlia Bakery. Now I can buy the cookbook and try to recreate his dishes at home (although I’m sure they won’t be nearly as good as going to the Bakery itself).

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