How you season your turkey is crucial.

The ingredients can vary, but its super important to impart flavor in all stages of cooking the bird.  There is no real 'science' or recipe to how I prepare my guy, but it comes out delicious every time, and here's how I do mine!

By now you should have already thawed and brined your turkey.  For brining tips, revisit Day 1 of 13 Days of Turkey.

Step 1:  remove the wrapped giblets from the bird's cavity, and make sure the gizzard is clean as well.

Step 2:  place 3 long carrots, 3 celery stalks (w/the leaves in tact), 2 whole cloves of peeled garlic, and one medium sized onion in a mesh bag (which you can fashion out of cheese cloth or even clean hosiery) and place inside the cavity of the bird.

Step 3:  Butter that sucker up.  Use one whole stick or room temperature butter and massage onto the skin of the bird using your hands.  Be sure the get the underside as well.


Step 4:  Zest half a lemon into a small bowl containing black pepper, rosemary, paprika, a pinch of cayenne pepper, thyme, and course salt.  Mix together and rub all over turkey.

Step 5:  I like to place my whole turkey in a clear, oven-safe plastic baking bag.  I put one boullion cube inside the bag with the turkey so it melts with the juices as the turkey cooks.  Make sure you place a thermometer in the turkey leg before you place in bag, or that the bird's built in thermometer is visible.

Coming up on Day 3, we'll talk about how long you should cook your turkey.

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