Step 4

Your turkey CAN look like this on Thanksgiving...just follow the steps
Step 4: Season The Turkey

Now you may be thinking, "Didn't the brine already season the turkey"?  Yes, to an extent.  The primary purpose of brining the turkey is to cause it to retain fluid, which will help to prevent it from drying out.  This seasoning step should be performed right before you are going to place the turkey in the oven.  (Check out the "Turkey Day Countdown" to see exactly when to do this step.)

  • Shopping List:
  • Unsalted butter
  • 2 Medium size onions
  • Fresh lemon
  • Bay Leaf (optional)
  • Garlic powder, paprika and pepper
Slice a medium sized onion into thin slices.  Slice a second onion into quarters, along with a lemon. Next, place the following spices in a small bowl:  2 tsp fresh ground black pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder, and 2 tsp paprika.  Gently mix them together.  Next, melt half a stick of unsalted butter in a coffee cup, or a small microwave safe bowl.  Let it cool. Mix in a half  cup of vegetable oil.  With a  Pastry Brush, spread the oil/butter mixture over the entire surface of the turkey, including the bottom (if the turkey is till very cold, the butter in the mixture will probably congeal.  This is ok.  Simply rub it in with your hands.)  Next, turn the turkey so the rear end is facing you.  Grasp the skin on the top part of the cavity, and very gently carefully, separate the skin from the breast  - you'll be making a pocket between the surface of the skin and the meat. 

Rub the spices into the pocket you created underneath the skin.  Place the onion slices in there as well  (be sure to distribute the spices and onion slices evenly on both sides of the breast).   Be careful to not tear the skin as you do this. 

Take the onion and lemon you sliced into quarters, and place the pieces into the empty cavity at the rear of the turkey.  Add a couple of bay leaves and some fresh thyme and rosemary, if you have them.  The turkey is now ready for Step 5: Cooking the Turkey.