Every year the cooking channels and food magazines present one-hundred-and-one ways to brine, rub, roast, butterfly or fry your Thanksgiving turkey. Even an experienced cook will watch a dozen of these shows and come away with so much confusion over which method is best that cooking the bird becomes an anxiety filled event suited only to a massive intake of white wine.
So please allow me to share my secret to fool-proof turkey.
Keep it Simple Suzanne.
Follow these simple steps and you'll have a delicious bird that everyone will love. Prep time is five minutes. Then you simply walk away and enjoy your guests until the bird is ready to come out of the oven.
Here it goes:
1. Preheat oven to 325 F
2. Into the turkey's empty cavity (don't forget to take the giblets out first) toss any of the following: an apple cut in half, an orange or lemon cut in half, a few sprigs of rosemary or thyme, salt and pepper.
3. Slide chunks of cold butter between the skin and breast meat of the bird.
4. Rub the skin of the bird with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
5. Put the turkey in the preheated oven and roast according to the time/weight ratio suggested on the wrapper (for instance, 3.5 hours for a 14 lb bird). If breast skin becomes too dark during the roasting process, cover with foil.
That's it. No brining beforehand. No basting during. And I promise, you will enjoy a lovely, succulent bird that everyone will rave about and which will make you the toast of the day.