5 Tips for the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey + Jenneka’s Go to Recipe!
Updated: Apr 21, 2022
Hi Fam! It’s that time of year…when the world is a glow…with Turkey, okay fine I’m mincing holidays and jumbling them all up into one! Either way, for most people…this is Turkey season!
Over the years we have learned many lessons from having cooked and eaten a range of fantastic, good, bad and ugly birds and have now decided to compile a few tips for you! So whether you are an advanced turkey chef or a novice being asked to bring the turkey…we have you covered!
For Jenneka’s go to recipe, you can prep your bird the night before or you can pop it in the oven directly after prep if you are short on time!
*We also added a shop-able link for a turkey pan like the one we use! If you make a purchase we may make a small commission.*
Let’s start with a few tips shall we:
1) You don’t need to wash it! It’s not taking any extra germs off that the good old oven won’t get rid of, especially when properly cooked 😁.
2) Make sure to thoroughly check the bird for the “giblet bag”. Fam…we have been guilty of cooking the bag right along with the bird more times than we would like to admit…we even almost missed the bag in this very turkey! Sometimes it hides in the extra fat and skin!😳
3) The giblets along with the neck can be cooked right along with the turkey and then can be used in the leftover broth for a lovely soup!
4) If you have a fatty bird, feel free to….trim the fat! But, be careful not to totally remove the skin…it aids in keeping all of the juices locked in!
5) Know Thine Oven! Okay so this one is kinda the important one…basically it‘s a kind way of saying… Don’t over cook your Turkey!!!! Worst possible case is it has to go back into the oven….You sadly cannot undo an overcooked bird! Your oven isn’t from 1955 and you don’t have to cook your 20lb turkey for 8 hours (unless of course it’s a super low and slow method!) Our 20lb turkey cooks to perfection in about 2.5 hours at 375 degrees😁
And now…Jenneka’s Perfect Turkey Recipe- “Drunk Turkey”
*Chefs Tips* - Measurements may vary slightly depending on if your bird is smaller or larger. Either way…Don’t be shy with the seasoning…it’s better to feel like you over seasoned…so err on the side of heaping measurements 😁
*Feel free to save herb stems to shove into the turkey cavity.*
1 medium onion diced
1/2 -3/4 cup fresh herbs chopped - such as thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, tarragon and parsley
1/2 cup champagne or sparking dry white wine
1/2 cup white wine (we like to use a Chardonnay)
1 heaping tablespoon garlic powder
1 heaping tablespoon onion powder
1 heaping tablespoon Whole coriander (freshly crushed)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 Tablespoon sea salt
3/4 - 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
6-12 large cloves of garlic (crushed)
1/3 cup vinegar (apple cider or white works great, you can even use basalmic)
2 Tablespoons butter (optional)
5 bay leaves
Once all ingredients are prepped, in medium bowl combine all herbs, garlic and spices. Add olive oil and vinegar. This mix should resemble a thicker paste. Let sauce stand while you get the turkey ready.
Remove turkey from packaging, make sure giblet bag is removed, excess fat is trimmed and that the turkey fits comfortably in the pan (if you don’t have a pan we recommend one similar to this.)
Separate the skin from the breast, being careful not to fully tear or remove.
Next, (if you decide to use butter - slather the recommended 2 tablespoons under the skin, if you wish to omit butter then go directly to drizzling white wine and champagne under and over the skin. Add a bit of extra salt to the skin and let sit for a minute or so. Add about 1/2 of the herb, garlic and spice paste under skin. Finish the remaining sauce over the skin and inside the cavity of the bird. Put diced onion in the cavity and reserve a few chunks to place under the skin. Lastly, add bay leaves under the skin.
We like to let our sauced up turkey sit overnight and soak up all the flavors! It also cuts back on Thanksgiving day prep time as all you have to do is pop this baby right in the oven!
When you are ready to cook. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Let it cook for about 2 hours. We really only check the bird once around that 2 hour mark to see how everything is cooking. Keep lid off and continue to cook for another 30-40 minutes.
After your turkey is cooked remove from oven and let stand for 15-20 minutes to lock in those juices. Carve and enjoy!
From our Family to Yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
X ~ The Sibs
Janna, Jared & Jenneka