Why You Should Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey Upside Down
This is one instance where flipping the bird is right, not rude. Here, we make a case for cooking your turkey breast-side down and show you how.
Thanksgiving might seem like a tricky time to try something new, but hear us out! We've developed a topsy-turvy technique for roasting turkey that creates a super moist, flavorful bird every time. Traditional turkey methods are prone to overcooking the breast meat or undercooking the dark meat. The benefits of roasting a turkey breast-side down are twofold: The dark meat cooks faster when it's closer to the heat source, and the juices trickle down for extra-moist breast meat. Talk about a turn for the better! Here, five tips to mastering this easy technique.
1. DRY BRINE
Season the turkey overnight and up to 24 hours for the best flavor throughout and extra-moist meat.
2. LINE THE ROASTING RACK WITH BUTTERED CIABATTA
The buttered bread creates a soft surface for the turkey breast to rest on so that the skin doesn't stick to the rack or get damaged when it's flipping time. The butter also melts, making for delicious pan juices.
3. USE A KITCHEN TOWEL AND A WOODEN SPOON TO FLIP
Now is not the time to use just your hands! To help assist in flipping the bird, use a kitchen towel on the neck side and place a wooden spoon inside the cavity for leverage.
4. BASTE EVERY 20 MINUTES
Add low-sodium chicken broth to the pan. It'll combine with the turkey drippings and melted butter to make one outstanding basting liquid. Pour it over your turkey every 20 minutes like clockwork.
Letting the turkey have a little R&R is critical for juicy meat. Give your bird 30 minutes before serving. If desired, go all out with your garnishes -- we opted for fresh figs, red, black, and green grapes, and sage and thyme sprigs.