Oh my gosh, can you believe it’s already Thanksgiving week?! I know this one snuck up on me, as I’m sure it did for a lot of you. I also know that some people have pushed the turkey portion of the meal off until the very last minute. Well don’t despair; I’m here to give you 5 fantastic turkey preparation ideas! Follow along as we look at some of the most popular ways to cook that symbolic bird. And yes, unfortunately for the turkeys, 5 birds have been injured in the making of this blog!
• A good place to start is the old fashioned, time tested, grandma approved oven roasted turkey. This has been done probably a billion times and dates back over a hundred years. Slow cooking a turkey in the oven and basting the bird to a golden brown is a great way to cook a turkey. It’s relatively easy too, especially for a big group of people. Typically you can roast a turkey at 325° for 12 minutes per pound. You can rub the turkey with any seasoning that you desire, but remember to baste the bird every 30 minutes with the drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan.
• The next recipe is also a classic, but does require one extra piece of equipment: a grill! Yes, grilling your turkey is a great option. This technique gives you a smoky, earthy flavor that your guests will love. It also frees up the oven so you can prepare other Thanksgiving treats at the same time. The ladies can also free some time up and make this be the man’s project, as they are the ones who rein as the grill masters, or so they think! This style does require a bit of extra work in prep (butchering your bird), but cuts the cooking time in half. A 12 pound turkey will cook in about an hour and 15 minutes.
• My third suggestion is deep fried, my personal favorite! I have to stop just for a moment and squash that little voice in your head. No, the turkey is not oily or greasy. It’s actually quite the opposite. When you deep fry a turkey, it seals in the juices and keeps out the oil. This makes for one of the most moist birds you have ever had! A trick to deep frying a turkey is to thoroughly de-thaw your bird. This is probably the most important as a frozen bird will cause a grease fire. This is how those scary YouTube videos are made! Dry your bird thoroughly; again, oil and water don’t mix. Use an injection not a rub. I have found that when you put a rub on and deep fry, you don’t gain much flavor. An injected turkey is a flavorful bird! This cooking method is quick too; 3 ½ minutes per pound in 325° oil.
• My next idea does require some extra equipment too, but the flavor is outstanding! I have never smoked my own, but a smoked turkey is delicious! It’s fairly easy too. You need a grill that you can smoke in or an actual smoker unit. Once you get the wood chips smoking, you throw on your bird and leave it for 2 ½ hours. You can use a weber grill and a mixture of charcoal and chips too. Either way you will have a great bird that looks good and tastes amazing!
• My final idea is a twist on my first suggestion, brine and roast. Basically you cook it the same way as the first suggestion, but first you bath it in brine. A brine is a saltwater soak, usually overnight with aromatic herbs. You can use sage, thyme, tarragon or citrus flavors like orange or lemon. Garlic is also a great flavor to introduce into your brine for that extra punch of flavor! The most important thing to remember is to wash your bird before you cook. An unwashed, brined turkey will result in a salt lick Thanksgiving!
These are just a few, but probably the most popular ways to cook your Thanksgiving centerpiece. Hopefully you get a few ideas here to help you with your turkey. Whether it’s smoked, grilled, roasted or deep fried, be safe and plan ahead for a great bird at this year’s Thanksgiving celebration.
Everyone at Roger Fazendin REALTORS wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble!
Copyright: cookelma / 123RF Stock Photo