what do you season your t-giving turkey with?
My in-laws are coming to our home for the first time for thanksgiving, and my mother in law is allergic to garlic! This is a huge challenge for me because I put garlic in just about everything! SO - what seasonings do you use on your turkey? I need something flavorful, not "spicy" and non-garlic.
I use what I guess could be called an internal marinade:
I combine about a half cup of butter, half cup of chicken stock, and a half cup of dark malty beer (a nice Scottish ale is perfect) in a sauce pan along with some cajun seasoning (I use a homemade version of Emeril's rustic rub) until everything is combined and then inject this marinade into the bird using a cajun injector. It doesn't turn out very spicy (you could eliminate the rub) and along with some salt and pepper on the skin, makes a very nice bird.
I also brine it as well, which helps.
I make a compound butter of prosciutto, sherry vinegar, hazelnuts, scallions, thyme, pepper and salt. I stuff that under the skin of the turkey and on top and end up with the most luxuriously seasoned bird and drippings for gravy, stock and stuffing.
This is what I use:
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon each dried marjoram,
rosemary and sage
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons dried chives
You boil the broth and butter and then add the herbs and put to the side. I usually make a double batch of this, and put it on the inside of the turkey (I don't put my stuffing in the turkey) along with an onion and sometimes also an orange. You can rub it inside the skin of the turkey as well as the outside. Baste about every 30 minutes. Whatever you have leftover is a delicious addition to your gravy, and you can toss some into the stuffing as well, which I always do. It is very tasty.
I use the recipe out of Best Recipes (the Cook's Illustrated cookbook), which calls for brining in a water/salt solution, then simply brusing with butter, salt, and pepper prior to cooking. Since it's been almost a year since I've looked at the recipe, I can't remember definitively, but I think that you put some herbs in cavity prior to cooking. I have to say that cooking the birds the way they specify turns out an amazingly moist and flavorful bird.
PS - their gravy recipe is great too (can't remember if it was in last year's CI or in the cookbook).
I chop a whole bunch of herbs (whatever I can get, favorites are rosemary, basil, chives, tarragon, sage, cilantro) and stick them under the skin. I put a halved onion and a halved lemon inside the bird. On the outside I rub oil, honey and lemon juice. The honey does make the turkey brown quickly, but nothing that covering with foil later in the cooking process can't stop. This was adapted over the years from a COoking Light recipe.
I use a kosher turkey to save the time and space of brining.