Thanksgiving is arguably one of the best holidays of the year – a whole day dedicated to eating? Count us in! However, preparing the centerpiece of the meal, the roasted turkey, can be a challenge: from brining to cook time to ensure it’s roasted to the proper internal temperature, there seems to be more risk than there is payoff. But, have no fear! We’ve got four tips to make your turkey more delicious and easier to prepare than ever before.
Dry Brine Your Turkey
Brining is a great way to enhance the flavor and tenderness of your bird, but it takes a lot of time, effort, and space. This year, try dry brining your turkey. Simply rinse and pat the bird dry, then season it inside and out with salt, pepper, and herbs and let it come to room temperature before roasting. You’ll end up with tender meat, crispy skin, and a turkey that tastes incredible.
Skip The Whole Bird
Roasting the entire turkey takes time and tricks to ensure an even cook all the way through, plus, most people only enjoy a few bits of it. Try just serving turkey breasts and drumsticks (or your favorite cuts of the meat) and slash your cook time (and stress levels) dramatically.
Smoother, Tastier Gravy
No one likes a tasteless, lumpy gravy. Instead of making gravy the traditional way with a cooked roux, use a beurre manie. Beurre manie is French for “kneaded butter” and is a great way to make thicken sauces without lumps. Simply mix equal parts by weight of flour and butter, and roll it into teaspoon-sized balls. Skim the fat out of your drippings, and place it over a couple burners, stir in a ball of beurre manie and watch as silky, delicious gravy appears.
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Try An Oven Bag
Though not everyone prefers to cook with them, we’ve found that oven bags help keep the turkey juicy, cut the cooking time, and help ensure proper temperature. We’d recommend slicing the bag open and cooking over higher heat for the last 10 minutes to get a crispy skin, and roasting the neck with veggies separately with chicken fat to make the gravy.
Happy turkey cooking!