I’ll admit it, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. There are just so many things to love about it. We take time to be thankful for what we’ve been blessed with and we get to embrace the fall harvest and take a day to gather our families and just savor it all. So today I thought I’d talk turkey with you and give you my best turkey tips.
A roast turkey is one of my most favorite foods on the planet. I’ve been cooking the family turkey since my mom wasn’t able to do it and have tried a lot of things, but the two things that seem to really enhance the turkey are brining it and cooking it breast side down. I know it doesn’t give you the picture perfect bird like the traditional one I have above but for me, taste trumps looks.
A brine is done the night before you roast the bird and works well with chickens too. There are many recipes with lots of spices and other ingredients but I fine the turkey to be a simple bird and it likes a simple brine best.
1 cup Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Raw Sugar (or Brown Sugar).
Take pot large enough to put the turkey in and cover it completely with water. Fill the bottom about four inches with water and add the above ingredients. Then mix until everything is dissolved. I use an immersion blender but that is mainly just because I use it whenever I get the chance to justify the space it takes up. Then add your turkey and cover with water. I typically put the bird in the fridge and then add water to it because it is heavy. Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge. Before you are ready to roast the bird rinse it very very well. My rule of thumb is to rinse it until I think it is done and then do it all over again.
I like to mix equal parts butter and olive oil and baste the turkey well with it. Because of the brine I don’t salt the bird. For extra flavor add one drop each of doTERRA’s Clary Sage, Rosemary and Thyme essential oils per cube of butter. I check my bird once an hour and baste the liquid all over the bird. If you chose to stuff your bird make sure that you don’t pack the cavity because that can cause bacteria issues and people can get sick. If you put most of the stuffing between the birds legs and baste it will be just as flavorful.
It is really important to mention before you start the process of cleaning your bird that you use care to make sure that your kitchen is really clean and safe before you start and you take extra care to make sure nothing that comes in contact with the bird comes in contact with any other food. I start by cleaning my sink and counter tops with On Guard concentrated cleaner that has essential oils in it to keep you safe from environmental threats. Don’t have the concentrate? You can mix liquid castile soap or dish soap with water and several drops of On Guard essential oil as well. After I’m done with the bird I do the same routine and I take my kitchen sponge and put it in the dishwasher and take all the kitchen towels and put them in the laundry. Make sure you do the ‘surgeon scrub’ when washing your hands before and after the process (Do entire your ABCs while washing) for extra safety.
Note: All essential oils aren’t created equally. Especially for internal use check the label to see if it is safe. I only use doTERRA essential oils and would never use another brand on food or for internal use. Why?…Essential Oil Grades