Turkey is such a very popular dish, especially on thanksgiving. Turkey is usually served with a variety of side dishes such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Have you ever wonder why turkey is associated with thanksgiving?
It is believed that serving turkey for unofficial thanksgiving day starts in late 1621 between Pilgrim and Wampanoag Indians in the Plymouth colony which is now known as Massachusetts. However, there’s no specific indication that turkey is served because it is said that the Pilgrims brought wildfowl which can be a duck or a goose.
Then in the 19th century, turkey became a more popular dish served on big occasions since it’s plenty and can feed the whole family and guests. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared to make Thanksgiving an official holiday. Cooking the best turkey recipe in the oven is now a tradition to Americans that celebrate the festive thanksgiving.
How to prepare a turkey?
Turkey varies in size when buying them from the store. The size to be served will completely depend on the number of people who will eat. How to prepare a turkey?
- To keep safe from any food bacteria make sure to rinse your turkey’s outside body and inside cavities.
- Once you have washed it completely, make sure to use paper towels to pat and dry your turkey. You have to make sure that the turkey is dry and no excess moisture, the drier the skin, the crispier it can become once cooked.
- Remove extra parts of the turkey from its cavity. Turkey has two cavities, the area where the neck is attacked and the main cavity. You have to remove the giblet, liver, and gizzard from the cavity. Sometimes, the neck is inside the cavity. You may keep the neck for later use for gravy.
- The wings of the turkey can easily burn. The secret to have even cooking, you have to bend and enfold the wings at the side. Then use cooking twine to tie both legs of your turkey.
Turkey Brine and Turkey with Stuffing
All recipes turkey brine main goal is to make your turkey moist. What happens during the brining is the salt is diffusing across the membrane of the meat cells. There are two types of turkey brining:
Wet brine it’s the water and salt that makes the savoring of the turkey. A wet brine can be a combination of just salt and water. Some people believed that wet brining is cumbersome as it makes the skin a little bit soggy,
The dry brine brings out the flavor of the meat as well as to the surface of the turkey. When doing dry brine, it is a combination of salt and sugar. Sugar actually can’t penetrate the actual flavor, making the flavor stays outside. When dry brine is done, it makes the turkey tastier and crispier skin.
Aside from bringing to brine your turkey, placing in some stuffing inside your turkey add up moist, juiciness, and exhilarating savory smell.
You may add some lemon, garlic, red peppercorn, and lemongrass. This combination arouses your olfactory and craving for the tasty, tender, meaty turkey.
Season Turkey and Glaze Turkey
Seasoning your turkey’s surface with herbs is another way to bring out the substantial taste of the meat. You may use any herb you like to use such as thyme, sage, and rosemary.
Glazing the turkey adds up aesthetic to the meat color and presentation. In a small saucepan bring to cook vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, lemon zest, and four tablespoons of butter in low medium heat until it thickens. Once thickened, adjust the heat to low heat to maintain the temperature.
How to cook the perfect turkey in the oven?
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Brine your turkey with the combination of salt and sugar. Apply it in the skin around and inside the cavity.
- After that chill your turkey 12 hours to 24 hours.
- Using your food grinder, grind the herbs or if you have powdered herbs you may use it. In a small bowl, mix one stick of butter and herbs.
- Rest turkey for 30 minutes from the chill. Use your hand to slowly separate the skin from the breast. Rub the herb butter inside the skin.
- Then, rub the herb butter combination all around the skin of the turkey including the backside.
- Place some water on your baking pan, then place a baking rack on top since the juice of the turkey will drip to the baking pan.
- Place your turkey at the center of the baking rack and let it roast for 30 minutes at the oven. Rotate the pan halfway through.
- Every time you rotate the turkey, bring it out and glazed the whole turkey. After 30 minutes reduce the temperature to 300 degrees and let it cook for another 65 to 85 minutes. Just make sure that you rotate the turkey and glazed it every now and then. Lastly, add some water on the pan to maintain some liquid. The turkey is cooked if the temperature of the breast is at 150 degrees.
- After 85 minutes let the turkey rest in the oven at least 30 minutes. Then transfer the turkey into the cutting board, before carving it wait for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.
How to cook a turkey in an oven is the best turkey recipe to serve your family. All you have to do is to do it with a dry brine, add some taste inside by filling it up with some stuffings, massage it with herb butter, bake it and rotate the pan halfway through, and lastly glazed it with the scrumptious sauce you made.
Dry brine is the best method to bring out the taste of thick white meat turkey. The salt saturates to the membrane of the neat cells, making each bite of the meat juicy, tasty, and satisfyingly delicious!