With a few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I figured I would share my ideas on the basics. I can tell you one of the most frequently asked questions, no matter what time of year, is how do I cook my turkey. There are several different ways to do so and I encourage you to change it up this year. I know, you only eat Turkey a few times a year and you patiently wait for the day you can devour an entire turkey leg like some crazed viking. If you are 40 years old, I’m pretty sure you have eaten turkey since year 1 at least 3 times a year. Well that’s 120 times, and let me tell you turkey ain’t that good! Try making a rib roast, or a leg of lamb, or a roasted pork loin, change it up!! However, if you insist on making a turkey, then let me share with you what I do and how to get the most flavor.
The turkey size obviously depends on how many people you are feeding; I have bought a 10 pound turkey and I have bought a 28 pound turkey. The first thing you want to do is remove the giblets and if you are like me, those go really well with a trash can 🙂 Next wash the turkey inside and out and pat it dry. Season the inside of the cavity very well with salt and pepper and then go ahead and stuff it up with your stuffing. Now, this next part is completely up to you… Using chopped herbs (sage, thyme, oregano) and a ton of unsalted butter, stuff all this goodness up underneath the skin in between the skin and the meat, but be sure to reserve some of it because when you can’t fit any more butter or herbs under the skin, then you want to do the same thing on top of the skin. Season all around the outside of the turkey very well with salt and pepper. When your turkey looks like a gigantic chunk of butter, herbs and stuffing, that is when you want to truss it with butchers twine. If you need help on doing this, click How to Truss a Chicken. OK, so now how to cook. Place it in a pan with a rack breast side up. At this point you can add in a bunch of root vegetables around the turkey i.e. celery, carrots, onions, etc and a little bit of chicken stock. Put this entire pan in the oven on 475° for 45 minutes to caramelize the breast and get that skin really crunchy. After that, take the pan out and flip the turkey over so it is breast side down. Be careful, because the turkey will be really hot. At this point, this is where I go a little over board 🙂 Wrap the bottom side of this turkey with strips of bacon, because remember FAT EQUALS FLAVOR! You obviously do not have to do this if you don’t want to. Put the turkey back in the oven and cook it at 325° at 18 minutes per pound or until your little red button pops up! If you did wrap it in bacon, once it is crunchy remove the bacon and let that turkey skin brown. Once cooked remove from the oven and slice it up for serving. I realize this is a ton of information and if you have any questions on this method or other ways of preparing a turkey please connect with me at FACEBOOK.COM or on TWITTER.COM.