Turkey decisions in time for Thanksgiving

I was going to post my day in Tweets, but last night I found out that I won Pioneer Woman’s giveaway for a turkey set!

I have never made a turkey before, let alone been in charge of the Thanksgiving turkey.  Now I don’t have any excuses because I have this:


The fact that Jonathan’s family is Chinese works greatly in my favor because they don’t quite know what to expect with a Thanksgiving bird.  Their taste buds aren’t biased and expectant of an herb-buttered golden moist bird.

Which brings me to the point of how to make the Thanksgiving turkey.  The internet is SO divided on this topic.  Some are briners, some are basters, some use fresh fowl, some use frozen, some use herbs, some use citrus…there is just no way of knowing what is the best.

Here are some recipes I found that intrigued me (click on the photo for the original recipe and photo source):

Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey. This recipe uses some crazy aromatics like apple, onion, and cinnamon. With over 3000 reviews, this recipe is 5 stars.

Ree Drummond's favorite brine. This one uses apple juice, oranges, and peppercorns. Such creativity! This one didn't get the same stellar reviews as Alton Brown, but it could be tweaked.

The New York Times has a meaty rendition of Thanksgiving, involving Italian sausage and pancetta. I know this will be Jonathan's vote, but it's not the traditional bird.

My tried and true bloggy friend, Comfortably Domestic, has a citrus herb roasted recipe. This involves a bunch of herbs and lots of butter. You really can't go wrong with that.

Needless to say, my mind is spinning with ideas.

What recipe do you use for your turkey?  Are you a traditional bird person or do you like funky twists on an old fave?


13 thoughts on “Turkey decisions in time for Thanksgiving

  1. Mom taught me to slather the outside in mayonnaise (not kidding) because it moistens the bird and gives it a crispier skin.

    I have to say, it works.

    Another one I’ve heard but never tried is that you should roast it upside-down because then the juices from the dark meat (there are far more apparently) run into the white meat, making the whole bird more moist and more tender.

  2. First, I have to say congrats on your big win on PW’s site. That turkey roasting set is awesome. SO happy you won it. In my house, we’re traditional turkey people. That usually means making a compound butter with sage, thyme, rosemary, etc. and rubbing it under the skin and on top of the skin, followed by a healthy sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. One tip – save all the juices off your turkey for gravy. Mmmm….gravy. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out and what you think of your PW swag!

  3. Ummm, I just have to say congrats on winning PW’s giveaway. Tens of thousands enter her giveaway so that’s seriously exciting. I’m just excited I “know” someone who won 🙂

    I can’t help you with turkey recipes, but those all look good!

  4. Congrats on winning! Those are some serious turkey roasting tools. I’ve made that AB turkey recipe & it was awesome. My turkey advice: use whatever recipe you want, but roast it in a turkey bag. Brine is tasty, but a huge mess–and way too much plan ahead for me. 😉

    • Good to know about the AB turkey. The reviewers were going bananas for it. Maybe I’ll start making turkey on a monthly basis. Nothing wrong with that, right?

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