If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been gearing up for a Thanksgiving dinner party, complete with turkey, stuffing and all things pumpkin. I spent the better part of yesterday prepping all the food and experimenting with a couple of recipes that will surely make it onto my family’s traditional Thanksgiving menu.
Not surprisingly, cooking a perfect turkey was the main element of dinner that had me a little stressed. Having never cooked one myself, I wanted a recipe that was easy but still delicious. Instead of simply baking it in the oven (though there is nothing wrong with doing that either), I decided to brine the turkey the night before to ensure it was extra tender and flavorful. I used The Girl and the Fig’s Fennel Citrus Blend as the seasoning and Emily Olsen’s how-to video for the brining process. I had no idea that cooking a 22 pound piece of meat could be so easy.
All you need is a stock pot, kosher salt, sugar, water and the fennel citrus seasoning (or your own homemade blend!). Let your turkey soak overnight in the seasoned water. After removing, make sure to wash it well, getting as much of the salt off as possible. Now you’re ready to stuff it full of bread, onion, celery and whatever other goodies your family enjoys. Butter and season the entire bird prior to putting him in the oven.
While there are many ways to cook the turkey, a good rule of thumb is generally 15 minutes per pound, if stuffed and slightly less if unstuffed. I like to cover it in foil and cook it at 450°F for 30 minutes to get it a little golden brown. After that, turn down the temperature to 325°F and let it bake for the remainder of the time, basting and turning as needed.
Stay tuned for some of the other recipes I used for dinner. In the meantime…what are you thankful for?