Turkey, done right, can be one of the most delicious meats out there. The trouble is turkey is really easy to mess up and if you don’t know what you are doing there is a good chance you will come out with an under seasoned, dry, bland bird that is only edible with a heavy dose of gravy.
People will tell you in order to get a moist turkey you need to brine it or baste it a million times or put a special rub on it. Don’t listen to them. There are some very simple, easy steps, that if followed will get you the most delicious, moist turkey you’ve ever made! You know the kind I am talking about – the kind you can’t stop picking at when no one is looking.
I have strayed from these tried and true steps a few times in the past, only to be very disappointed in the results. With all the hype about brining, I just had to give it a try a couple years ago. For the time and effort it took I was expecting something amazing…not so much!
Time and time again I come back to these simple steps and I am never disappointed. This recipe also works great on whole chickens. Not to mention the drippings make awesome gravy.
The Best Turkey Ever
UPDATE 11/16/2013: The last time I cooked a turkey I only had one lemon. I used one lemon and one naval orange. It was amazing….I would definitely suggest using an orange.
1-2 Lemons (depending on size of turkey, you want about 2-3 tbsp of juice per 8 lbs)
Salt and Pepper
- Place completely thawed turkey, breast side down, inside roasting pan or inside cooking bag.
- Squeeze lemon juice onto turkey and place lemon rinds in turkey cavity or around the turkey if you are stuffing the cavity.
- Generously salt and pepper entire bird, I turn mine so I can also generously get the breast part that I layed down first and then flip it back to breast side down. I use about a tablespoon of salt per 6-7 pounds of turkey.
- Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil over bird.
- If using bag: seal bag tightly and cook according to package directions. If using roasting pan, make sure it seals completely. If you think there is any chance it is not a complete seal, cover tightly with tinfoil before putting lid on pan. Cook according to package directions.
- Do not remove lid during cooking time for any reason.
- Remove from oven and let rest in pan or bag for thirty minutes before removing from pan or bag. If you have to get your gravy started and need to get the drippings, quickly remove drippings and return meat to pan or keep completely covered with foil. This will help hold the moisture in.
- Cutting the meat should be the last thing you do before serving your dinner. You want to keep the meat covered and intact until you are ready to eat…that will help it stay moist.
That’s it! If you have never been confident with Tom before, I promise these simple steps will produce a fabulous Thanksgiving Turkey.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday full of delicious food.