The following recipe comes to us courtesy of Serena Wolf, the Harvard-educated, Cordon Bleu-trained, always hilarious chef atdomesticate-me.com, who whips up recipes, cooking tips, and food-related magic for ELLE.com on the regular.
Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and I’m sure you’re all kicking your domesticity into high gear for the big day. That said, I know there’s always some anxiety surrounding the turkey, and I totally get it. Turkeys are fat and scary, and some of you may be roasting one for the first time. Good luck.
PSYCH. You can relax. Roasting a turkey is actually pretty simple. To put your mind at ease and prevent any major poultry disasters this Thanksgiving, I’ve compiled some foolproof tips and tricks for roasting the perfect bird. Let’s do this.
1. Make sure you buy the right size bird.
A good rule to follow is 1 pound per person, or 1? pounds if you like leftovers (which everyone does).
2. Give yourself enough time to defrost.
If you can, buy a fresh bird and pick it up the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Fresh is just better, people. However, if you must go the frozen route, you are going to need 1 day of defrosting time for every 5 pounds of turkey. So, if any of you plan on roasting a frozen 20-pounder, you should put that bad boy in the fridge on Saturday, capiche?
3. Say yes to brining.
This requires a little planning, but it is SO worth it. Turkey meat has a tendency to dry out, so brining it with either a regular brine or a dry brine will keep the bird juicy and prevent overcooking. Don’t be intimidated by the terminology, friends: Dry-brining literally means rubbing a turkey with salt a few days before the feast.