8 Responses to “Help! First classic Thanksgiving”


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  1. Tiffany

    This is my…fifth? Sixth? time cooking Thanksgiving for my extended family. I switch a few things up every year, but I’ve kept the turkey the same. Mostly because it’s delicious. Fresh turkey (not frozen!!). On Wednesday night I rub it down with herbs (rosemary and thyme) and way way way more coarse salt and pepper than you think is necessary. I let it sit, rubbed and in the pan it will cook in, overnight. On the morning of Thanksgiving, pull it out, stuff it with plain celery and a lemon cut in half, as much celery as you can fit. Then roast uncovered! When it’s at 165, pull it out and cover it with foil. I let mine rest at least an hour, often 90 minutes, before we cut into it. It’s always still hot and that way it absorbs the juices back into it. I don’t serve it with the lemon or celery, they just help keep the meat moist and functionally steam it from the inside.

    • RhodeyGirlTests

      Don’t laugh at my question, but does the turkey sit overnight out on the counter or in the fridge?

      • Diana

        I do exactly what Tiffany does except I put in oranges instead of lemons and dump a 1/2 bottle of wine over and inside the turkey before adding the seasonings. It marinates in a turkey bag in the fridge overnight but I don’t cook it with the turkey bag. The key is to get a fresh turkey not frozen. The only thing I struggle with is making the gravy. The drippings are always too salty and I’ve heard this is even worse with a brined turkey. If you figure out how to make a good gravy, I’m all ears!

  2. Conny

    I always use Alton Brown’s recipe for a brined turkey and it always turns out perfect. All my guests love it and it’s not too time consuming to prepare.
    Here’s the recipe:

    I never follow it 100%, but it always turns out tasty and moist. For example, I never add the ginger and sage.

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy hosting your first traditional Thanksgiving.

  3. Michelle

    Try Inna Garten’s recipe:

    I used this last year and it received rave reviews.

  4. JW

    I always do my turkey in a roasting bag. I think you can find them by the ziplock bags in the store. It’s basically a giant plastic bag that’s oven safe. I usually put in a broth with chicken broth, butter and herbs and always lemon, both squeezed in the broth and then the lemon halves in the bag too. I don’t stuff my turkey. I put it upside down in the pan too so the breast is in the juices in the bag. Roast low and slow per instructions on the turkey. Let it set for a good long time before carving. Always turns out moist and delicious and the bag makes it harder to dry out and mess up 🙂 Good luck!!

  5. Beth

    This recipe is super unhealthy and time consuming, but it is honestly the BEST turkey!! Go big or go home, right?! http://www.marthastewart.com/353184/perfect-roast-turkey

  6. Bridget

    Ditto on Alton Brown brining. So delicious. Would also recommend preordering your turkey now–I love d’angelos in the Italian Market. The guy who owns the place is a little rough around the edges, but all his turkey and chicken comes fresh from Lancaster-he drives out there every morning to pick up a ‘harvest’ from the night before.

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