Turkey Prep Day 1 & 2: In the Thanksgiving Lab - Tips for Your Turkey!

So! Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy cooking, especially for large groups (yea, I know, I enjoy stress apparently, mass cooking event planning etc I think its a disease). I've been put on Turkey duty for the 3rd year in a row, so I figure I may as well share what I'm doing with you all!!

If you're by chance subscribed to my Events Newsletter or Events Blog, you should have already seen my tips earlier this month on planning ahead for the perfect Turkey! The tips are inspired by event planning best practices (and by the way, if you're not subscribed to the newsletter or blog, click on one of the hyperlinks to get on it!! :) )  

Step 1: I followed my own advice, and purchased our turkey early - ie last Friday. By the way, even that was a bit on the late side - there were only huge and baby turkeys left!! Ladies, keep that in mind for planning next year! I left it in the fridge to defrost. I got us a nice 25 lb turkey :)

Our Turkey just before it was unwrapped!
Our Turkey just before it was unwrapped!

Step 2: Yesterday (Monday) after the turkey was mostly defrosted (yea, it takes that long - there was still actually a little ice). I washed the turkey. I also created tiny, clean slits into the turkey all around the breast, legs and wings. Be careful with this, you want SMALL slits. You don't want the turkey to look like it died a 2nd death when you're done.

turkey getting manhandled as I wash it! lol

turkey getting manhandled as I wash it! lol

Step 3:  I created a seasoning, primarily of paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, canola oil and water. then poured the marinade all over the turkey, making sure that some was rubbed into the slits. 

The turkey, post seasoning
The turkey, post seasoning

Step 4: I covered the turkey and put it back into the fridge to marinate until Thursday. You may want to use either a large oven bag, or an aluminum pan, covered with saran wrap to lock in the moisture. You also want to turn the turkey every couple days to make sure the seasoning is really getting in there.

just before getting wrapped up for the fridge!

just before getting wrapped up for the fridge!

Stay tuned on Thursday when I share my finishing touches!!