Thanksgiving Turkey Roasting Tips: Skip Basting and Add Fresh Herbs to Flavor Turkey While it Roasts

With this method of roasting turkey, it is not necessary to baste it while it roasts. It is so easy to have fresh herbs now, even in winter. Most grocery stores sell them in little plastic packages. Sage, a traditional favorite with turkey, is so much better when it is fresh. Dried sage is very potent, and tends to leave a bitter, dusty taste, especially if it is overused. Whether or not you stuff your turkey, this method adds flavor to the meat itself, making leftovers even more flavorful.

Ingredients for Flavoring Turkey as it Roasts

  • 4-5 strips of bacon, or 1/2 stick of butter
  • fresh sage leaves
  • sprig of fresh rosemary, strip the leaves from the stem

Preparing Turkey for Roasting

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place the turkey, breast side up, in a roasting pan. If you are roasting just a breast, not a whole turkey, crumple aluminum foil to hold the breast in place. Carefully separate the skin of the turkey from the breast meat. This can be done with your fingers to avoid cutting holes in the skin. Work around the pop up thermometer, if it has one.

Lay the bacon strips between the skin and the meat. If using butter, cut it into small pieces and space the pieces around evenly between the skin and the meat. Add the sage and rosemary. Place the turkey in the 500 degree oven, immediately turning the oven down to 325 degrees. Roast until the thermometer pops, or a thermometer placed in the meat reads 165 degrees.

Searing the turkey by placing it in a very hot oven ensures a crispy skin that holds the moisture inside the turkey. Combined with the bacon or butter under the skin, and the lower internal temperature now recommended, this helps to keep the breast meat moist.

Using Leftover Turkey

Turkey sandwiches made with sliced white meat are always good. They are even better on homemade bread. When the breast meat is down to shreds, chop it finely with the remaining meat pulled from the bones to make this delicious turkey salad.

Curried Turkey Salad With Peanuts

  • Leftover turkey, finely chopped
  • peanuts, finely chopped
  • mayonnaise
  • curry powder
  • salt and pepper

Quantities are dependent on the amount of turkey you have. This is good with lots of peanuts, about half as much chopped peanuts as turkey. Mix well and stir in enough mayonnaise to hold it all together. Add salt, pepper and curry powder to taste. Spread on bread or rolls, add lettuce, and watch leftover turkey disappear!

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