First, I called ahead of time to reserve our spot. I was told that it was going to be a lighter class than the previous day, which made me happy (who wants a crowd?). Second, there were six people in attendance so there was plenty of space for viewing. Third, I actually learned a lot. And I needed to learn a lot.
Consider brining your turkey.
It keeps the meat moist and flavorful. You can either do a wet or dry brine. We ending up purchasing the apple & spices turkey wet brine mix and plan on mixing with apple juice. Eventually, you will rinse the brine off before flavoring your turkey.
Next, flavor your turkey.
Use oil, flavored butter, or paste by rubbing on and under the skin of the turkey. We usually use olive oil and mix it with herbs. This year we will be using the turkey seasoning paste.
Tuck the legs under the skin and tie with twine.
Fill the cavity with onions, apples, carrots, apples, celery, garlic, or orange slices. Bring on the aromatics!
Start off with a hot oven – 375 or 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then lower the degrees to 325 or 350 degrees. You know it is done when a thermometer in the breast registers 165 degrees and 175 degrees in the leg/drumstick. We purchased an All-Clad oven-probe thermometer that has a cord that you can run from the oven to your countertop.
Keep the turkey off the bottom of your roasting pans.
You’ll want a flat bottomed pan so you can deglaze the drippings over the burner. LouAnn mentioned that adding wine to help deglaze would be delicious and I concur. We are planning to do just that this year.
Let your bird rest.
Wait 20-30 minutes before you carve to ensure that all the juices are reabsorbed back into the meat. Carve in this order: legs, thighs, breast. And once you place on a pretty platter, add a little greenery! Parsley or rosemary and perhaps even grapes! Make it a nice presentation.
Save your carcass!
It is perfect for making stock. I have to admit that I have never done this before with the Thanksgiving turkey… this year I will!
Don’t forget to order your fresh turkey!