Whether you are preparing your turkey for a holiday or special event, this guide will help you buy your turkey and make a delicious recipe.
It is that time again this year for many people around the Globe. In some cultures, the famous Turkey bird appears at the dinner table only on Thanksgiving day. For others, it could also be on Christmas Day. But let’s not forget that many people consider this famous bird as everyday food as well. So let’s prepare the turkey the right way.
Preparing your turkey for a special turkey meal? Here are a few advice.
Turkey is somewhat a staple food in terms of a special event or an occasion. This bird is famous for making an entrance at parties, communions, weddings, and christenings in the Caribbean is partly because it can feed several people. It looks damn good when sitting on a beautifully decorated platter.
Fresh, natural, or frozen, no matter your preference, turkey meat (whole or cutup) must be well spiced. There are tons of recipes online that instruct us to only season the bird with salt and pepper. That is not good in my kitchen.
My cooking method for meat and poultry is simple. I add spices, marinate my meat, and simmer it, so all the flavors are perfectly married to one another. No matter the recipe, you must add spices so that the special bird can be flavorful.
Prepare a Turkey today as an everyday food
Turkey meat has been labeled as a healthier food compared to other types of poultry and meat. Because of its lean labeling, many people have opted to consume different kinds of meat. One, for example, pork, is also labeled as lean, and the other white meat.
Turkey is slightly leaner than chicken. They both provide high-quality protein and are considered better protein options in most diet regimens.
These days you can find turkey meat in many ways. Luncheon meat, sausage, bacon are some of the common ways to buy turkey meat.
There’s no reason not to enjoy a turkey meal several times during the month. Prepare your turkey the way you want and enjoy it.
How to buy a turkey
This question can only be answered one way. The answer is what you prefer.
Natural, Fresh, or frozen are your choices. Whether you buy a fresh, natural, or frozen turkey, you still need to season it well. The only differences between are preparations and taste.
Fresh or natural turkey will always taste better than frozen turkey. That is a fact for most food. Fresh or natural turkey can be purchased directly from your local butcher or at your local supermarket. Many turkey farmers have decided not to use any growth hormones and only use exceptional food to feed the birds. This option is better!
Frozen turkey labels can be deceiving. The word “fresh or natural” is used very lightly for marketing purposes. It is also used to describe the turkey as organic. Always read the labels to To make sure that you are buying what you want, please read the label carefully.
The Food Network turkey typology – essential and useful information to know when preparing your turkey
Basted or Self-basting: These are whole birds that are injected with or marinated in a solution that, according to USDA specifications, includes “butter or other edible fat, broth, stock or water; plus spices, flavor enhancers and other approved substances.” This increases the moisture content in the meat; however, it also masks the natural taste of the bird.
Free Range/Free Roaming/Cage Free: These birds have access to the outside and the ability to move about a yard. This increased mobility helps to develop muscle, contributing to a more fully flavored and complex meat. A common misconception is that free range chicken is synonymous with organic or naturally processed birds. These distinctions only refer to the animal’s ability to roam and its access to light, not feed or processing. Kosher: The distinction given to the birds that have been killed according to Jewish dietary laws. Kosher birds are salted inside and out, and left to drain before soaking and washing. Since the salt pulls moisture from the meat of the bird, the flesh is denser. These birds, also prized for their full taste, tend to be more expensive than non-kosher poultry.
Natural: Can be added to a label if no artificial flavors, colorings, ingredients, chemical preservatives or any other artificial or synthetic ingredients were used to process the meat. Natural poultry can have antibiotics as part of their regime. Poultry labeled “natural” should not be confused with organic. Sometimes “no hormones” will be added to the label; this is a meaningless distinction, since hormones are never used in poultry or egg production in the U.S.
Organic: Organic poultry represent a two-stage process. First, the farmer does not use any chemicals, antibiotics or roughage fillers when raising the birds, as well as giving them access to the outdoors and direct sunlight, as with free range. In addition, the animal’s feed must be raised organically — without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. These birds tend to be more expensive, but are potentially the finest and fullest flavored available.
Final thoughts on preparing your turkey
- Buy a natural or organic turkey if you can; it will taste much better.
- If using a brine, make sure you use one that is made with several herbs and spices
- Don’t ever use salt and pepper only – turkey needs tons of flavor.
- Use store-bought poultry seasoning or turkey seasoning (read the label for ingredients) if you don’t want to make your own
- Use a seasoned butter to rub the outside of the turkey before roasting. Seasoned butter can be prepared with Noubess Hot and Spicy Original with Herbs – preferably 2 tablespoons for a large 10-15 pound turkey.
- Use Noubess Poultry Seasoning, Salt-Free to season your turkey inside and out. Notice that it does not contain any salt. This seasoning is perfect if you are following a no to low salt diet.
- To prepare your turkey you can use fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, onion, garlic, and even a lemon quartered. Insert everything in the cavity before roasting.
- Do not cut the roasted turkey right away. Wait at least for 15-20 minutes. This will help the turkey retain its moisture and juices.
- Do not roast the turkey at high temperatures only. A combination of high and low temperatures is recommended. You can also cook a whole turkey at low temperature providing that you are not in a rush.
- Lastly, do not rush when preparing your turkey. Play with the seasonings blends for optimum flavor.
Check out these recipes and how to prepare your turkey:
- HOW TO SEASON A TURKEY (AND WHY YOU SHOULD!)
- EASY ROASTED TURKEY WITH NOUBESS SEASONING AND HOT AND SPICY SAUCE
- TAMARIND GLAZED AND SPICED TURKEY
- HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE TURKEY LUNCH MEAT
- HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER TURKEY LEGS
- FRESH HERBS AND SPICES ROASTED TURKEY
- TURKEY IN CREOLE SAUCE