November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, which means it’s time to start prepping the turkey! There are many ways to prepare and cook a turkey. We’ve gathered some tips and flavors for the perfect Thanksgiving bird.

Thawing Your Turkey

Whether you are baking or frying, thawing a turkey correctly is key to safety. Thawing in the refrigerator is the best way to do it but sometimes there isn’t enough time. You need one day of thawing for every four pounds. Thawing a turkey using cold water takes less time. Just make sure to change the water (about every 30 minutes). It is suggested that it will take 30 minutes per pound to thaw it this way.

Brining Your Turkey

To brine something is to moisten the meat while adding flavor. There are so many different recipes for making a brine. Start here for some amazing brine recipes, including:

  • Savory Brine: This recipe uses vegetable stock to add salt to the brine. The dried herbs of rosemary, sage and thyme will help complement your stuffing.
  • Apple Spice Brine: Instead of using sugar as the sweetening agent, this recipe uses fruit juices. The fruit juices also add a little acidity to the brine.
  • Cranberry Turkey Brine: If you are a cranberry fan, what better way to add to flavor to your turkey than by adding cranberry juice to the brine. Also using apple and orange juice, the acid of this brine will bring lots of flavor to your turkey.
  • Clove and Honey Brine: This brine recipe adds a layer of sweetness to your turkey. While we think of cloves as providing their uniquely warm, sweet and aromatic taste to breads and pies, they can also add layers to a savory dish.
  • Poultry Brine: Wow! This recipe is packed with spices. It’s sure to bring lots of flavors to the turkey. The tip is to mix the spices and vinegar days in advance. This will enhance the flavor when you finish off the brine and cook the turkey.

Frying Your Turkey

If you have never fried a turkey, I recommend you give it a try just once. I think it’s more delicious than roasting it. You can still make a stuffing, just cook it in the oven and not in the bird. But if you do fry it, do not brine it ahead of time. The chances are great that the hot oil will overflow or explode when the water from the brine hits the oil. Instead, inject your turkey with a mixture of water, vinegar and spices or do a nice rub on the turkey before frying it.

Happy Thanksgiving!