If you want to know how to prepare the perfect Turkey for dinner, then you must get that information from Harris Turkey Farm! After all they know everything there is about turkeys! I got to sit with Chase and Jason and they explained to me all the important things there is to know about preparing turkey for dinner.
If you buy a commercially raised turkey at the supermarket, there is little you need to do for preparation besides thawing and removal of the giblets. Even though the store bought turkey has been injected with a salt solution and needs very little to no prep, a simple brine or rub can enhance the flavor with your own flavor profile. A fresh local turkey however will need a little help in order to get the best results for your guests.
Brining has been used for centuries as a means of seasoning and even preserving meats. Whether you use a dry or wet brine technique, you will find your turkey to be more tender and flavorful than roasting without. With either option, the turkey should be brined for 24-48 hours prior to roasting. Be sure to rinse the turkey well under running water, both inside and out before roasting, or the meat may taste salty. One of our favorite Brine Recipes from scratch can be found on Humphrey's BBQ Blog. If you are looking for a simple brine that you can purchase, take a look at Tipsy Tom. It's a beer or wine based brine. This is available to purchase at Humphrey's BBQ and Harris Turkey Farm.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. After rinsing your bird, pat dry with paper towels, then rub the exterior all over with canola oil. Roast in the oven until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. This seals the skin. You will not need to baste the turkey during cooking. Remove turkey from the oven and reduce oven temp to 350 degrees. Cover turkey with aluminum foil and roast until Temp reaches 170 degrees in the deep part of the breast (about 17 minutes per pound). Poultry is fully cooked at 165 degrees, but I find sometimes the dark meat around the hip joints is a little underdone, so I suggest 170 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 min. before carving.
Cooking a moist and juicy turkey doesn't need to be a stressful event, but it does take a bit of planning. Once you have your plan in place cooking the bird is easy. We would love to see pictures of your Dinner Turkey!