The turkey is the star of the Thanksgiving meal. A bad turkey equals a Thanksgiving failure even if everything else was successful. Whether or not the turkey you are cooking is for Thanksgiving, you will still need to season it properly. While some people claim that all you need is pepper and salt to give a turkey flavor, the truth is that you need much more. The problem with turkey is that it is naturally bland. The upside of this is that its flavorless character allows it to serve as the ultimate blank slate. The possibilities are almost endless.
Garlic is the ultimate meat seasoning in that it goes well with almost every meat. When it comes to turkey, it is a great way to add a strong savory note that will go a long way toward solving turkey’s lack of taste.
Also important is the fact that it works well with all of the other seasonings that you are likely to use on your turkey. While you can use fresh garlic, the easiest way to apply garlic to a bird is to add it to a rub. You can also use it to flavor an oil use it to make a compound butter.
Like garlic, onion is an allium with a savory character that will liven up the dull and anonymous nature of turkey. When seasoning your turkey with onion, it will be far easier to add it in its dried and powdered form than it will be to add it fresh. Use onion powder in your dry rub.
Allspice is not an ingredient that you will see in many recipes for a Thanksgiving turkey unless you are dealing with a Jamaican jerk variation; however, it is perfect as a part of a dry rub for turkey. Allspice gets its name from the fact that it tastes like a combination of spices, including cinnamon and cloves. Using it can give your turkey a distinctive sweet and spicy note that will set it apart from more traditional options.
The pungency of sage is one of the most distinctive flavors in the classic Thanksgiving turkey. recipe. In fact, it is essential if you want the traditional experience. Sage brings a pungent pine flavor with earthy notes that are often used to cut through fatty meats and that works well with all parts of the turkey, but especially the dark meat.
There are two common parsley varieties: curly and flat-leaf. The flat-leaf parsley is the most flavorful of the two, which makes it the best one to use with turkey. It brings a fresh, delicate flavor that will add a little brightness your bird. You will need to use it at the last minute to get the best results.
A member of the mint family, rosemary is the source of a pungent flavor with notes of pine resin and tea. The fact that rosemary is a particularly pungent herb and can stand up to long cooking times means that you will need to use it sparingly. You will also want to add it late in the cooking process since this is not an herb that you want to eat raw or close to raw. Both dried and fresh turkey can be used on turkey.
The bay leaf is a great addition to any protein dish that contains liquid and that will cook for a long time. It offers a powerful astringent note that is perfect for long cooking times. In fact, this herb could be described as the ultimate braising herb. As with the rosemary above, you will want to limit your use of bay leaves or its long-lasting flavor could backfire and make your dish bitter.