First things first on the list of things to tackle: the turkey. This is the showstopper, and you have to get it right. We remember cooking our first turkey… and the second… and the third. Somehow every year when you step up to the plate it feels like the most daunting task. What we have come to learn is that it’s all in the prep. Getting enough turkey to feed your guests (and have leftovers, yum) and making sure your bird is completely defrosted are two simple, yet huge hurdles to overcome.
Oh, and also, make sure your pan & turkey combo fits in your oven – we’ve miscalculated that before, not good!
A good rule of thumb when trying to decide just how big of a turkey you really need is counting on about ¾ to 1 lb of turkey per person. The larger the bird you get, the longer it’s going to need to defrost. Seriously, can you even believe how long it takes? Depending on the weight, you could be looking at 2 to 3 days! Like we said, it’s all in the prep.
Now, how are you going to cook that turkey? We worked on this Brined Turkey recipe to add flavor and moisture to your bird this year. Keep in mind that this is going to add a lot of time to your cooking process! Brining is basically sitting the turkey down in some salty, herb-seasoned water and letting it absorb those flavors and moisture. Once you have completed the brining you can go ahead and prep your turkey as you normally would. We really like using this recipe. You just can’t go wrong with lots of butter and herbs!