A huge meal, football, and leftovers (then maybe a little shopping at midnight.) Who doesn't love Thanksgiving? It's literally a judgement free zone to gorge yourself on turkey then slip nicely into a tryptophan coma.
So why is Thanksgiving such a stressful holiday? Well, for some people, it's having to spend the day with relatives they wouldn't be caught in public with (remember when Uncle Bruce came to dinner with the boot on his head?) But for others, the stress comes from having to cook a huge meal for a butt-load of people who have spent the morning drinking and yelling at the floats on the Macy's Parade.
I mean, if it meant boiling a couple pounds of pasta and pouring some jarred marinara over it, sure, things wouldn't be so bad. But, nooOOoo, Thanksgiving requires you to mash potatoes, cook stuffing, bake pie, the list goes on. But the mother of all the difficult tasks is roasting the turkey.
The thought of cooking a turkey can make a grown man cry, send any person into the fetal position and loathe the day they told their family "why don't we have Thanksgiving at our place?"
So why is this? Why is turkey such a pain in the fanny? Well, for starters, they're generally pretty big and with any meat, you need to get it to a certain temperature to have it safe to eat. Unfortunately, by the time the inside is cooked, the meat on the outside might as well be shoe leather.
Ok, so with the negative stuff out of the way, here's our foolproof secret to roasting the perfect turkey for your next Thanksgiving meal:
One word: Brining
Brining is the age old technique of soaking something in a salt solution for a given period of time. It's insanely easy and will have Grandpa Joe asking "why is this turkey so much better than last year's?"
Brining works in a couple of ways that have some serious science behind them. All you have to know is that brining helps your turkey retain moisture while tenderizing the proteins. Done and done.
Be sure to read through all the steps before starting out. There's a lot to cover but it's not nearly as bad as it seems.
Here's what you need:
Here's what you do:
This may seem like a lot of steps, but I really wanted to make sure everything was covered. It's really not so bad once you realize there's only about 4 major things to do. Everything else is just me being long-winded with directions. I genuinely hope this helps you in your Thanksgiving feast prep as it's truly an awesome time of year to spend with friends and family, not one to spend stuck in the kitchen. Unless, of course, Uncle Bruce decides to wear the boot on his head again...