When Marc Forgione says he wants to show you how to cook a 16-pound turkey under a cinder block, you don’t ask questions. You throw on your coat, grab some cameras, and head down to his Tribeca flagship, Forgione, to see what “Thanksgiving on steroids” looks like in real life.
Like many great ideas, this Turkey Day upgrade was born during a night of post-shift beers, when one of Forgione’s chefs suggested a holiday-themed remix on the restaurant’s signature chicken under a brick—a preparation that yields exceptionally crispy skin while keeping the interior of the bird extra-juicy.
The thing is, a turkey is much bigger than a chicken. So to pull off the meal, Forgione and his crew got an industrial-size skillet to fit the whole bird, and used a massive cinder block instead of a brick. They also super-sized the traditional sides—giant slabs of bacon, halved squash, plump autumn olives—to round out the theme.
The only impediment to trying this at home is having access to a stove-top and oven large enough to accommodate such a gigantic pan. Beyond that, the cooking process is relatively simple—if a bit intense—and requires a far shorter cook time than standard roasting.
After seeing how much fun Forgione and his staff had tucking into the feast for family meal, we’re thinking that turkey under a cinder block might become our new tradition. Vik the Viking certainly approves.
Turkey Under a Cinder Block, 2014
The O.G. chicken under a brick
Photo: Evan Sung