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NORMAL CHEF: It's turkey time



Thanksgiving is just around the corner and its time to start thinking about how we are going to cook our turkey. Are you going to go old school and roast it, my favorite way by the way, are you going to smoke it, deep fry it or spatchcoch it, fancy way to say butterfly it. Each method is great its just how you want it.

This weeks article will offer a few tips for each version. First thing you need to decide is if you are going to use a fresh or frozen turkey. If you decide to go with a fresh one, make sure you give yourself enough time to order one, Your local grocery store can help you with that, if you choose the frozen one give yourself enough time to thaw it in the fridge, and make sure you have it in a pan to catch all the juice from thawing.
    
With all the turkeys with their exception of deep frying, I suggest that you brine it first. Brine is a fancy way to soak it in some water, with lemon juice, salt, and fresh herbs, and do it for at least 24 hours, if you do not have room in your fridge you can put it in a big plastic bag and place it in a cooler with ice and put the cooler in the bath tub. It will make a big difference in your turkey. 
    
If you do brine your turkey make sure you rinse it off first, before you season it and cook it. For a oven roasted turkey make sure you dry the skin first with paper towels and then season it with a mixture of kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, dried thyme, dried sage, and some lemon zest. Inside the turkey, If you don't place your stuffing in there, which, I don't do, add some onion pieces, celery, lemon halves, and fresh herbs. Bake it at 325 oven on a roasting grid or some fresh vegetables and roast away. If you smoke it you have so many different options to choose from, and so many wood flavors to choose, combination of cherry and hickory is really good. Each smoker varies check the directions on yours before starting. A nice deep fried turkey, one do it outside unless you have purchased one those brand new inside covered fryers, remember to monitor the temperature of the oil and that the turkey is dried off before you put your turkey in the fryer and keep a fire extinguisher near by.

If you have a small oven butterfly your turkey and season both sides and brown it first and then place it in the oven and finish it off. 
    
Lastly enjoy your holiday with your family.


Natilie Cavnar is a cooking fanatic who loves to try new recipes, and create some of her own, ask her what you want at thenormalchef@gmail.com.

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