Dec 19 2011
This is the way I’ve seen my mom make turkey ever since I was little; and you can put all the glazes and exotic spices that you want on a turkey and I’ll think it’s delicious (because I really love turkey a lot!) But it still won’t be as good as just slathering some butter and salt on it and letting that natural roast flavour come through! Roast turkey is a super easy meal to make; it’s usually the sides that are so intimidating. But, keeping a few things in mind definitely makes it that much easier, and tastier!
- You have to brine! No one wants to eat dry turkey, and everyone dreads it. Turkeys are simply so big now, and are raised to their absolute fullest that there’s no longer any way that you can completely cook it without drying it out if you don’t brine it. Michael Simon, one of my favourite new chefs but still one of my faves overall, is dead-set against brining because he thinks it changes the texture. But he does still cover the turkey in salt overnight, to keep it moist and add some flavour.
- Make sure your oven will fit the turkey before you buy it. Trust me, I almost made this mistake last Thanksgiving when I bought a massive turkey and nearly had to squish it in. Ditto for your brining pot. I’m sure people are still cursing me over the dry turkey I served last year because I hadn’t heard of the cooler tip yet, and I didn’t have a pot big enough for my massive bird.
- Let the turkey rest – for a long time – after you pull it out of the oven. Those juices all need to go back to where they’re supposed to be and besides, you need your oven free to put the dressing in and cook all the other sides.
- Don’t ever put stuffing inside your bird. By the time the stuffing is cooked through, you’ve overcooked and dried out the breast – even if you’ve brined it beforehand!