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How To Cook The Perfect Juicy, Delectable Turkey

Sick of dry, Thanksgiving turkeys? Here are some effective marination, brining and baking tips to help you master the art of turkey-baking.

roasted turkey plated with greens

Photo: Bernard Gordillo/WFIU

Say "goodbye" to dry, gravy smothered turkey breasts. Here are some effective"brining", or marination, tips to help you master the art of turkey-roasting.

turkey on a plate

Photo: Bernard Gordillo/WFIU

Editor’s note: after our Thanksgiving special last week, we heard from a lot of listeners wanting to hear more about the process of brining a turkey, so we asked Chef Orr to share some tips, here they are:

Tips For Preparing The Perfect Turkey

Say “goodbye” to dry, gravy smothered turkey breasts. Here are some effective”brining”, or marination, tips to help you master the art of turkey-roasting.

Brining consists of soaking the turkey in liquid, sugar, and salt. The turkey then absorbs the moisture, making is less likely to get overly dry. There are no set amount of the ingredients for your brine, it’s kind of a free for all, so just toss in what you like! Here are some ideas to get you started:

Brining Ingredients:

  • sorghum
  • sugar
  • salt
  • water
  • citrus- orange, lemon, lime
  • spices: cloves, allspice, bay leaves, oregano

Baking The Bird – “Don’t Overcook!”

  • Refrain from using the thermometers that come with the turkey.
  • Use a “self-read” thermometer.
  • Take the temperature by plunging the thermometer right into the thigh of the bird.
  • Take turkey out of the oven when thermometer reads 155 degrees.
  • If drained juices are clear, the turkey is cooked.

Decorating A Festive Turkey

Feel free to dress up your turkey by garnishing it with a myriad of fruits and veggies. Oranges, berries, and lemons add the perfect touch of color to ensure a festive presentation.

And don’t forget to buy a local, free-range turkey. Happy birds taste better!

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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