Thanksgiving 2016 is fast approaching, and if you haven’t bought your turkey yet, now is the time to head out and secure one because they might all be gone. Sounds silly, but some years there are no turkeys left, and other years there are plenty. So be safe and get one now.
Otherwise, you will be serving ham, and your friends and family won’t be too pleased because what is this holiday without a Thanksgiving turkey? Most Thanksgiving menus have it on their list, and turkey recipes don’t have to be complicated.
The key to a good turkey is lots of time in the oven on a low setting. Low and slow is the best way to remember how to cook this bird. Everything else is just an extra. Rubbing a turkey with butter helps add moisture and flavor. And if you want to get really fancy with cooking turkey, you can even inject your bird with melted butter—but that’s if you have time and patience. Turkeys that are pre-buttered can be purchased as well if time is an issue.
Thanksgiving food is meant to bring joy to you and your family, but it’s not meant to strap you to the kitchen for the entire day. Prepare some delicious food, but make sure to take the time to enjoy your efforts and spend time with your loved ones. They are there for the company and not just the food…though the yummy food is a definite plus.
Thanksgiving Recipes: Turkey Time
Don’t be afraid to try something different. This recipe gives a Mexican flare to your turkey, and you can even serve with a side of homemade salsa, which is a great accompaniment for most anything. Homemade salsa (pico de gallo) is easy to make and is so fresh and tasty. All you need to do is chop up tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and some hot peppers of your choice. Combine with salt and lime juice. Allow to sit for at least an hour before serving so the flavors meld.
Chile-Rubbed Roast Turkey
You will need: One turkey, 3 tablespoons salt, 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 4 tablespoons butter, not chilled, 1 small onion chopped, 1 carrot, chopped, 1 cup stock of choice or white wine.
You will want to prep this a day or two before roasting. Dry the turkey with paper towels. Place it in a roasting pan. Mix together the salt, chile powder, and oregano, and rub this mixture all over the turkey. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.
On the day of roasting, stuff butter in the cavity and under the skin. Place the chopped vegetables in the cavity and cover the turkey with the stock or wine. Roast in a 400F degree oven for one hour, and then reduce heat to 325 and roast until cooked. Use a meat thermometer to tell you when it’s ready. Use the mole gravy instead of regular gravy. Offer both in case some don’t like a chocolate sauce on their poultry.
If you want a classic roast turkey, make an herbed butter by adding chopped herbs of your choice to softened butter and rub this all over the turkey, including under the skin and in the cavity. Tenting the turkey with foil while cooking will keep it moist and prevent the top from overly browning. Make sure to baste every hour. Don’t forget or else the turkey could be dry. Allow a turkey to rest 30 minutes before cutting.
Laidlaw, K. et al, “Mexican-Style Thanksgiving: Chile-Rubbed Roast Turkey,” Bay Area Bites web site, November 14, 2016; https://ww2.kqed.org/bayareabites/2016/11/14/mexican-style-thanksgiving-chile-rubbed-roast-turkey/, last accessed November 16, 2016.