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Thanksgiving Turkey Tips

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Countdown is on until T-day! What are your secrets to the best turkey? On the morning of Thanksgiving, I rub mine all over with compound butter before roasting in the oven. And here’s that Turkey Butter recipe!

In advance, I believe strongly in 1) buying a heritage breed of turkey (they truly taste better) and 2) brining the bird for a day or two! We are lucky and have a local butcher shop, Ted’s Butcher Block, that sources great turkeys AND brines them for you! They will even roast or smoke your turkey if you are feeling totally stressed. No need to be a hero — better to enjoy the day!

But for those of you in the cooking spirit — check out this butter!

Turkey Butter

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 pound unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons Kosher salt

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried sage

2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped

2 tablespoons honey

Zest from one orange

Zest from one lemon

Combine fennel and coriander seeds in a small skillet and toast over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Grind in spice grinder (or cleaned out coffee grinder!)

Place butter in large bowl and stir or beat with electric mixer to give “whipped” texture. Add fennel, coriander, and all remaining ingredients and stir or beat to thoroughly combine.

Use this butter on any roasted poultry, but it works especially well on turkey. I rub inside, outside, and even under the skin. Then as you are roasting your bird, the butter will melt and run into the bottom of the pan. Use the melted butter to baste the turkey throughout cooking!

Yield: Enough for one decent size turkey; halve recipe for a chicken

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