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How do you sesaon your turkey?

How do you season your turkey? Herbs? Spice rub? Butter? Oil?

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  1. We do a rub of salt, pepper, herbs and spices mixed with any kind of oil you like. In our restaurant we actually use rendered Turkey Fat for the oil but at home, either Olive oil or Veg Oil will do.

    For the Spice Mix, we use granulated Onion and Garlic, Paprika, and a commercial Poultry or Italian Seasoning.

    It actually really helps to do this a day or two in advance.

    I have a video that shows the process:

    http://youtu.be/nDAgY_aWatQ

    2 Replies
    1. re: acgold7

      Loving your videos. At the end of this seasoning one, you refer to another upcoming one of roasting the bird. Can you post a link? (I tried a YT search,but no luck.) I've roasted many a turkey over the years, but it's always fun to look for something new. Thanks!

      1. re: pine time

        We actually have five or six videos with different ways of roasting the birds, from vertical to slow roast to frozen (yes, it can be done and the bag of giblets won't kill you).

        They frown on us posting links without answering specific questions here but if you go back to the prep video and then sort by date you should find most of the roasting videos. Or email me (it's on my profile page here) and I can send you a link.

        I've added a link to our basic roasting video in the description text for the Seasoning and Prep video.

        Thanks for the kind words.

    2. Does anyone use Bell's? I think that's my grandma's choice but never tried it myself.

      8 Replies
      1. re: fldhkybnva

        I find bells way too much.
        I like salt, pepper , garlic and thyme.

        1. re: magiesmom

          <I like salt, pepper , garlic and thyme.>

          That is weird. I use the same combination.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I once developed a recipe I called Scarborough Fair Turkey, in Tribute to Simon & Garfunkel. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme. Pretty good.

            1. re: acgold7

              <Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme.>

              Nice. Can you taste all four of them. In my limited experience, parsley is not strong as the other three.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Nah, it's mostly done for poetic value.

          2. re: magiesmom

            I think that's what grandma goes with. I actually sometimes use Bell's just for everyday dishes, simple baked chicken.

          3. re: fldhkybnva

            That's what my Grandmother ALWAYS used... on/in turkey and in stuffing.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              I love Bell's Seasoning, use it in my stuffing. I first put in chopped sage and chives and parsley (along with other stuff) and then add a little Bell's too and give a little taste, add some more until I think I have it right.

            2. Last couple of years we've been using Penzey's Bicentennial Rub and olive oil, and we like that a lot.

              1. For turkey, softened un-salted butter mixed with salt, pepper, chopped fresh sage and because we like spicy, red chili flakes rubbed all over the top side of the turkey. The cavity gets, 1 or 2 halved lemons, a bundle of fresh thyme, sage and rosemary with a head of garlic cut in half.

                1. Butter and or olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: melpy

                    Sometimes some thingS inside, a carrot, celery, onion cloves o garlic, spring of thyme or rosemary. Depends on what I have on hand.

                    1. re: melpy

                      A light rub of Kosher salt and a grind of pepper. No butter/oil. There's enough fat in the skin already to turn the skin crispy at the end. Why add more? Cavity gets a couple of sliced lemons and a sprig of fresh thyme.
                      Oven at 200F. When interior temp reaches about 165F crank up the oven to screaming hot. Watch skin turn golden in a couple of minutes. Remove/tent/rest until you can handle the turkey with bare hands. Carve and eat.

                      1. re: Puffin3

                        It is a minimal amount of grease, just enough so my seasonings cling and can be easily rubbed on. Plus I like a brown crispy bird and if I don't include a tad it looks white livered.

                        1. re: melpy

                          Not if you crank up the oven temp at the end of the 'low and slow' method as I've described. The skin WILL go from a pale white to a golden brown in a couple of minutes. Done it many dozens of times with all sort of birds. Got a golden brown skin every time.

                        2. re: Puffin3

                          For a 14 lb turkey, how long at 200 F ? All this turkey talk makes me want to do one NOW. Experiment with your method.

                          You test for 165 in both thigh AND breast??

                          1. re: walker

                            I used the low and slow last year and I'll never do it any other way. I had an 18 lber and roasted 450F 20 minutes and 250F 5 hours.

                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                              You do the 450 F at the beginning?

                              1. re: walker

                                Yea, though I assume you could do it at the end.

                    2. I don't. I dry-brine (i.e., rub it with lots of kosher salt and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days), then air-dry overnight. Then I roast it. The skin is awesome this way, and although I couldn't care less about the rest of the turkey, my guests have never had any complaints. I serve a very flavorful gravy and stuffing, so I don't see any reason to try to add more flavors to the turkey.

                      1. Salt, pepper, garlic, that's all!

                        1. In the cavity: a couple of carrots, rib of celery and wedges of onion, along with a thyme bundle.

                          For the skin, I loosen it with a wooden spoon, then rub softened butter mixed with some salt and pepper and chopped fresh sage underneath. Whole fresh sage leaves are then arrayed between the flesh and skin. This last I do, really, just because it looks so beautiful, the darkened roasted sage leaves under the mahogany lacquer of turkey skin.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cayjohan

                            This is really similar to what I do, but I usually add a couple chunks of apple or lemon along with the celery. Love the butter and sage flavor under the skin. Also I salt & pepper inside the cavity.

                          2. Butter, salt, pepper, sage, thyme.

                            1. With herbs de Provence and just enough olive oil to make it stick.