SHE says: The first Thanksgiving I spent with HE’s family was super-big. It was crowded with lots of relatives, but what I noticed more than anything was HE’s turkey was awesome. Super-moist. “How did he do that,” I wondered. He made me wait a WHOLE YEAR until Thanksgiving #2 to share the big turkey secrets. He knew it didn’t matter because I would never actually be cooking a turkey myself, so he made me wait. And now, I share “the big secrets” with you.
The big secrets for moist turkey?
#1 – SALT IT! Salt for 2-3 days. Use 1/4 cup of Kosher salt for every 20 lbs of turkey . Yep. Just clean the turkey, rub the salt inside the cavity and all over the bird. Set your salted turkey into a BIG plastic bag, tie the end and set it in your refrigerator (breast up) for 2-3 days. (3 days if you have the time.) Don’t be alarmed if after the first day there is some liquid in the bag. That liquid will be reabsorbed into the bird.
#2 – UPSIDE DOWN IT! The day you cook your turkey, rinse off the bird (inside and out), pat it dry and season per your favorite recipe w/stuffing if you like stuffing. THEN the first 30 minutes roast the turkey UPSIDE DOWN in a roaster at 425 degrees. The juices will head towards the turkey’s breast. Then, for the rest of your cooking time, turn the oven down to 325 with the turkey right side up. If your oven is small, you can protect the top w/a foil tent and in the final 30 minutes or so, take off the tin foil tent and let ‘er roast. You’ll have a truly beautifully roasted turkey! The upside down technique really works to make your turkey a juicy turkey.
And now… for the Thanksgiving wines...
HE SAYS: If you want a white wine, almost any Chardonnay you like will do. Personal recommendations for easy to find, easy to buy Chardonnays are below. Print this list out, take it to your nearby wine store and if they don’t have one of these exact wines, ask them for something similar. You’ll be a star dinner guest.
Chateau St. Michelle 2008 from Washington is (usually under $10) is a terrific Chardonnay. Socred a “90” by those people who score wines.
2007 Qupe Reserve Bien Nacido – from Santa Barbara area, we’ve had Qupe many times and it is consistently good. (around $20)
Rombauer (approx $32/bottle)
Or a chardonnay from Longoria Wines for approx $35.
If you like red wines, Barrysentials recommends a Pinot Noir. Again, most of these are easily and readily available at a local wine store, a World Market store, Whole Foods or larger wine cave. Just print the list and take it with you and ask the sales person for assistance. Here are a few to try:
Melville Estate Pinot Noir (around $25) is reliable in almost any vintage and not too big to overpower your Thanksgiving feast.
2009 Redtree Pinot Noir (you might be able to find as low as $6/bottle) hard to believe it can sell for $6 but by now you’ve heard the market is a little flooded with wine. Don’t be afraid of that screw cap…it’s all the rage now creating a much stronger seal while the wine ages.
2008 Oyster Bay Pinot Noir from New Zealand ($15/bottle)
Good luck my friends! Let us know how it goes!