When Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop opened their Rosslyn location in August, we quickly fell in love with their signature subs featuring freshly roasted turkey. Joe Combs, director of operations for Capriotti’s in Rosslyn, says they typically roast 8-10 Butterball turkeys per day, and sometimes as many as 16. With these impressive turkey-roasting credentials, we figured there was no one better to advise us on cooking the perfect bird for our Thanksgiving feast.
So, what's the secret, you say? Combs recommends simply making sure your bird is cooked to the perfect internal temperature: Set your oven to 325 degrees and ensure that the turkey reaches 165-170 degrees, measured at the thickest part of the breast.
Combs also likes brining (soaking a turkey in a flavored liquid the night before cooking) or using spice rubs.
“I personally like the Cajun flavors of a good south Louisiana Cajun spice,” he says. “Mouthwatering.”
But what if not all your guests are meat eaters? One thing we like about Capriotti’s is that they offer so many tasty vegetarian subs, including veggie turkey, cheese steaks and cheeseburgers. With this in mind, we thought they’d have something to say about vegetarian choices, too.
Combs says it’s best to first assess the degree to which your guests are vegetarian. “That can vary greatly from one person to the next and will help determine your menu,” he says.
Some tips from Combs on adding vegetarian and vegan choices:
- Use vegetable stock when making your dressing and cook it separately from your turkey so it is a true vegetarian option that will have some of that Thanksgiving flavor.
- For vegan guests, replace butter with margarine and milk with soy milk in your recipes so they can enjoy these dishes, too.
- Get creative with fruits and vegetable displays as appetizers.
- Try making a creamy pumpkin soup that all can enjoy.
We hope these tips help. Let us know how your Thanksgiving feasts turn out!
And if you want to try Capriotti’s turkey firsthand, be sure to visit their Rosslyn location at 1500 Wilson Blvd. From now until the end of the year, you can get $5 in CAPS cash when you purchase $25 worth or more in gift cards from Capriotti’s. It’s a great stocking stuffer!