Herbs can punch up flavor in Thanksgiving bird

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ROAST TURKEY WITH MEDITERRANEAN RUB

Add some flavor to the Thanksgiving turkey with this simple recipe.

Prep time: 10 minute Cook time: Three hours Serves: 12 servings

Ingredients:

One Butterball turkey (14 to 16 pounds), thawed if frozen

One cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

A quarter cup ground dry lemon peel

Four teaspoons of sugar, granulated

Four teaspoons of sea salt

Four teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

One tablespoon of dry oregano leaves

Two teaspoons of ground black pepper

A half teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey. Place turkey breast side up on flat rack in shallow roasting pan.

3. Roast turkey approximately 1-1/2 hours. Then, cover breast loosely with aluminum foil to prevent overcooking.

4. While turkey is cooking, combine parsley, lemon peel, sugar, salt and spices to make rub. Set aside.

5. Roast turkey another 1-1/2 hours, or until meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees F when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh muscle.

6. Let turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.

7. Sprinkle rub on sliced Butterball turkey or rub over entire turkey when it is removed from the oven.

NOTE: Recommend using rub within 24 hours for best results.

Source: Butterball

Here are a few ways Butterball, one of the largest suppliers of turkeys, will help Thanksgiving cooks make this year’s Thanksgiving meal even better:

Thawing with ease: Thawing in the refrigerator is the recommended method. For every four pounds of turkey, allow at least one day of thawing in the refrigerator. However, if your turkey is still frozen and you’re short on time, submerge the turkey in cold water. Leave the turkey in the wrapper, place it in a tub or sink of cold water and allow 30 minutes of thaw time for every pound of turkey.

Food prep 101: Practice good food safety procedures: wash hands often; keep raw turkey and ready-to-eat foods separated; cook foods to proper temperatures – the turkey should reach 180 degrees F in the thigh, 170 degrees F in the breast and 165 degrees F in the center of the stuffing; and refrigerate cooked turkey promptly to reduce temperature to below 40 degrees F.

It’s all about how you cook it: The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line experts recommend the open-pan roasting method using a flat rack in a shallow pan so that the turkey cooks evenly and is raised off the bottom of the pan. If you don’t have a flat rack, take a long piece of aluminum foil and crinkle it the long way to create a tube like shape. Then shape the tube of foil

into a medium sized circle to place at the bottom of the pan. Place the turkey on this homemade cooking rack — this elevates the turkey, reduces the amount of dishes (just toss the rack in the trash) and cooks the turkey evenly.

Bites of wisdom: Recipes don’t have to be trendy or complicated to impress guests. Butterball’s Master Chef Tony Seta suggests taking traditional mashed potatoes and adding simple ingredients — Butterball turkey bacon and asiago cheese — that will create a little extra flavor. Don’t anticipate any leftovers!

Don’t break the bank: Start thinking about the meal in advance and look for ways to save.

Courtesy of Butterball