The same Thanksgiving meal each year with a familiar turkey recipe, sweet potato casserole, and cranberry relish can be comforting. But a lot of Americans try to mix things up a bit from year to year to keep things interesting.
"Brining your turkey prior to cooking will help ensure you end up with a deliciously moist and flavor-packed turkey for your next gathering," reports Butterball.com. There are lots of brining recipes available online, including "The Complete Guide to Brining a Turkey" on Epicurious.com
Perre Coleman of The Runaway Spoon shared with Stir It Up! readers her take on a Thanksgiving turkey: a bacon-blanketed, herb roasted turkey that not only looks interesting, the flavors are intensified (and everything is better with bacon, right?).
We can't endorse it because of its danger levels, but here are a few tips for deep-frying a turkey if you choose to go that route.
NPR's "The Salt" reported last week that a survey of food magazines this year shows "classic dishes are holding steady" for Thanksgiving this year. For turkey recipes, that means forgoing the grilled turkey for one that has roasted slowly for several hours in the oven.
Maria Zoitas, creator of “Maria’s Homemade” line of prepared food at Westside Market NYC, has prepared this classic roasted turkey recipe with a fresh herb rub for Stir It Up! readers.
Traditional Roasted Turkey
Yield: 6 – 8 servings
1 16-lb. raw, whole turkey
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced into 1/2 pieces
1 whole white onion, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large carrot peeled and cut into 1/4-inch coins
2 whole Granny Smith apples, left whole
2 cups of water
1 cup of white wine [editor's note: substitute cooking wine or broth]
1. Preheat oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
2. Combine butter, fresh chopped sage, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Add paprika, salt, and black pepper.
3. Rub turkey breast in between skin and meat with butter mixture.
4. Fill the cavity of turkey with onions, celery, carrots and the two whole apples. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Place the seasoned turkey into a roasting pan on a wire rack, and add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of white wine into bottom of the pan.
6. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and bake for about 2-1/2 hours.
7. Uncover turkey after 2-1/2 hours put back in the oven for additional 1-1/2 hours.
8. Once the turkey is done cooking, all cavity items (onions, celery, carrots and apples) should be removed and discarded.Use the pan drips to make gravy.
Alternative turkey rub mixture
Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1/2 teaspon each of sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Stir in 1 tablespoon each of rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram, blending well.
Take 1 tablespoon of this aromatic mixture and rub onto the outside of the turkey.
Put the remaining seasonings inside, patting the cavity throughout.
Maria says: "Feel free to get creative with your choice of seasonings and proportions. Try a rub that includes chopped parsley, onion powder, or whatever makes your mouth water."