Saturday, November 21, 2015

Your Perfect Roast Turkey the EASY Way

Gather up a few kitchen essentials for the BEST roast turkey...EVAR.  Easy recipe tips right here!

Growing up in Northern New Jersey, Nanny would cook the day to day meals. Mrs. Humble (yes, that was really her name), prepared all our meals including dinner which was always pretty simple fare. However for holiday parties, my mother took the lead and prepared all the dishes, with a little help from me of course! Holiday meals were served in our dining room on our best china. So in my opinion, there is no better way to entertain than by cooking the meal yourself. Nowadays, things are a bit more relaxed so it is perfectly proper for you, the host, to provide the turkey while assigning provision of the sides and desserts to your guests. This allows you the luxury of giving your total attention to the main event...the turkey. 

Here's how to host your holiday dinner party and enjoy yourself at the same time PLUS of course my no fail Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe that is easy to make, even for first time cooks. First let's greet the guests with a few appetizers:

Whole grain crackers and natural fruit & cheese are always welcome
Keep the appetizers wholesome and simple. I like the cheese and whole grain cracker buffet. You can serve various cheeses on a chalk board with the names written in for each selection. Learn how to do this at's Putting Together A Perfect Cheese Plate

Putting Together A Perfect Cheese Plate. PHOTO courtesy of

Have Refreshments on Self-Serve at the Bar
I've found it easier to simply set out soft drinks, wines and liquor on the bar or buffet with an ice bucket and garnishes like Marichiano cherries, lemon wedges and olives. You can also try some of the more festive drinks of the season, namely fig flavored Vodkas. Very tasty! Guests can most certainly bring their own and pour it too.

One of the top liquors of the season, fig flavored Vodka.

Your Perfect Roast Turkey the EASY Way
Here are my tried and true tips to make the best roast turkey imaginable this year:

My Mauviel Copper Roaster
You will need a quality roasting pan with a rack, butter and poultry seasoning. So here we go!

1.) Skip the brine.  Most large turkeys are infused with a broth solution to make it extra juicy.

2.) Lightly salt your turkey inside and out with Kosher salt. If stuffing the bird, add it loosely and secure skin with skewers. Rub your turkey with a flavored butter, (chive is good), and put some between the skin and the breast meat.  Roast breast side down at 425 degrees for the first hour.  Turn and continue cooking at 325 degrees breast side up.  Leave the turkey uncovered and baste every hour with butter to finish cooking. 

Place turkey breast side down for 1 hour at 425 degrees

3.) Use Bell's Seasoning or ground sage in your stuffing mix which can also be made outside of the bird.  

I used a bamboo skewer to keep the stuffing in the neck

4.) Try whole berry cranberry sauce instead of the jellied type.  Whole berries add extra texture & crunch.

Deglazing the roaster to make gravy.

5.) Make turkey gravy right in the roaster pan by adding a little white wine, water and flour. Strain afterward to remove lumps.  The Mauviel Copper Roaster is perfect for this purpose as it caramelizes the pan drippings and releases them for a delicious gravy.

Viola! I guarantee this will be the juiciest turkey ever.

Coffee & Dessert Time
I like to put the coffee, tea and dessert pies and cakes on a coffee cart and serve my guests where they are. Sometimes it may be in the living room or the dining room. Where ever the majority of them are gathered that's where you serve dessert after dinner. 

Chef Carla Hall of The Chew's Gourmet  Baked Goods
Tea and tea cakes.

My homemade pumpkin pie. Get the easy recipe HERE

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