Gobble gobble! Martha Stewart shares top tips for how to cook the ‘PERFECT’ Thanksgiving turkey – from picking the best bird to covering it in cheesecloth
- While a delicious turkey is a traditional part of the holiday, it can cause anxiety for home chefs struggling to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving meal
- Although the prospect of cooking the perfect turkey may feel daunting, home chefs can look to Martha, 81, to help them cook a scrumptious meal
- Martha-logue, a new digital platform that just released its Harvest & Holiday 2022 issue on Martha.com reveals how you can make the ‘perfect turkey’
- From picking the right bird to how to stuff it to cooking a golden-brown turkey, the cooking guru revealed her top tips to leave your guest’s mouths watering
Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be complete without the ‘perfect turkey’ – but cooking up a delightfully delicious bird during the holidays isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
However, help is at hand this year courtesy of lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, who has shared her top tips for achieving the tastiest turkey possible.
The 81-year-old has just released a new digital publication, Martha-logue, and in its Harvest & Holiday 2022 issue she reveals how you can make the ‘perfect turkey every time’ from the comfort of your home.
From picking the right bird to cooking a golden-brown turkey, the cooking guru revealed her top tips to leave your guests’ mouths watering.
Although the prospect of cooking the perfect turkey may feel daunting, home chefs can look to Martha Stewart, 81, to help them cook a scrumptious meal
According to the cooking guru, you’ll need to start by getting a ‘good bird’ that’s hormone-free and plan for one and a half pounds of turkey per person
Turkey day 101: How to make the perfect turkey according to Martha
- Start by picking a hormone-free bird and plan for one and a half pounds of turkey per person
- If you pick a frozen turkey, make sure you thaw it two days prior to the event
- Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel – inside and out – and let it sit out for two hours at room temperature
- Fill the bird with stuffing
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and mix melted butter and white wine and soak a cheesecloth into the mixture
- Fill the bird with stuffing
- Cook for 2 1/2 hours and remove the cheesecloth
- Continue roasting the turkey to until golden-brown
- Make gravy and enjoy
According to the cooking guru, you’ll need to start by getting a ‘good bird.’
The perfect meal will need a hormone-free, free-range turkey that’s order ‘weeks in advance’ to avoid any holiday surprises.
The chef’s personal favorite is the D’Artagnan Organic Turkey – which she says results in ‘delicious, flavorful and tender meat.’
You’ll also need to think about sizing when it comes to the perfect Thanksgiving turkey.
When turkey shopping, you should plan for one and half pounds of turkey per person that’ll be attending your Thanksgiving dinner – this will cover enough for everyone and even leave you with delicious leftovers.
Martha’s recipe will get you a delicious turkey in just four hours – making sure your Thanksgiving ready.
After picking out a hormone-free and the right-sized bird, you’ll need to thaw the turkey – if you purchased a frozen bird.
Thawing the turkey correctly is one of the most important steps the ensure the bird is ready to cook when the holiday comes around. Martha says a large turkey needs to be thawed two days prior to the event.
Then you’ll need to pat the turkey dry with a paper towel – inside and out – and let it sit out for two hours at room temperature.
Next, you’ll preheat your oven to 450 degrees and mix melted butter and white wine in a bowl and soak a cheesecloth into the mixture.
You’ll then fold the wing tips under the turkey and fill the neck cavity with as much turkey stuffing as possible, but make sure not to overpack it or pack it too tight.
Fill your turkey with stuffing and preheat your oven to 450 degrees, mix melted butter and white wine and soak a cheesecloth into the mixture before spreading it onto the turkey
After the total 2 1/2 hours of cooking, you’ll remove the cheesecloths and continue roasting, basting every 15 minutes until the skin is golden-brown
Martha Stewart’s top safety tips to cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving
1. Wash your hands thoroughly throughout.
2. Purchase surgical gloves and wear them when handling the bird.
3. Keep the work station sterile with white vinegar or bleach mixed into a gallon of water.
4. Thaw turkey if frozen in its original bag. If turkey is purchased fresh, keep it on parchment paper in the coldest part of the fridge.
5. Start thawing turkey two days prior to Thanksgiving.
6. Place parchment paper over the cutting board when working with the bird to avoid having to sanitize it later.
7. Use a separate cutting board for all other ingredients and side dishes.
8. Use a heavy duty roasting pan to cook the turkey instead of a disposable aluminum pan.
9. Cook until internal temperature is 165 degrees. This should be measured in the middle and the thickest part of the thigh.
10. Don’t place stuffing in the turkey until the morning it goes in the oven.
11. Throw away any leftovers after three days.
Then you’ll need to place the turkey breast side up on a roasting rack in a heavy metal roasting pan and brush it with butter, salt and pepper.
Lift the cheesecloth out of the combined wine and butter and spread it evenly on the turkey and cook for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, you’ll reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for two hours.
After the total 2 1/2 hours of cooking, you’ll remove the cheesecloths and continue roasting, basting every 15 minutes until the skin is golden-brown.
When the turkey is fully cooked, transfer it to a serving platter and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make Martha’s favorite gravy.
After you make the chef’s mouthwatering gravy, get ready to serve your turkey and wow your guests.
In the past, the cooking guru revealed safety tips to help you stay safe on the kitchen.
The first step Martha recommends is washing ones hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.
She also noted it’s best to wipe your counter or work environment of any turkey juice that may come out when thawing the meat.
And when preparing the Thanksgiving feast the cooking guru recommended using surgical gloves in a box so that you can go throw multiple and throw them out frequently.
In addition to keeping your own hands clean, you should also make sure your work station is frequently cleaned throughout the food preparation so that no raw turkey comes into contact with any other dishes.
The chef recommends using bleach or white vinegar in a gallon of water to wipe any surfaces and clean up any messes. She also recommends you use paper towels rather than terry cloths, since they can be thrown out.
Another tip is to work with the turkey on a piece of parchment paper over the cutting board. This makes cleaning easier because you don’t have to sanitize the cutting board used.
Next, you should make Martha’s favorite gravy and pour it onto the turkey and get ready to serve it
After you make the chef’s mouthwatering gravy, get ready to serve your turkey and wow your guests
Also, cut any other vegetables on a separate cutting board away from the raw turkey.
Finally, Martha recommends to throw out any leftovers from the event three days after the feast to be safe.
All these tips come after years of Martha cooking the feast for her family and friends. But she revealed to DailyMail.com years ago that she actually burned the turkey during her first Thanksgiving cooking.
‘Weary and bleary-eyed at 3:00am on Thanksgiving Day, I turned on the oven, stuffed the turkey, and struggled to get the enormous bird into the electric oven by 3:45,’ Martha said at the time.
‘We had invited everyone for 1:00pm dinner, just like my mother, Big Martha, always did and as tradition demanded. I went back to sleep only to awake to a house full of black smoke — the turkey was burning!
‘My husband ran downstairs and I followed, thinking of how embarrassed I would be to serve Thanksgiving dinner without turkey. Indeed, the bird was hopelessly charred! (My fateful mistake? I preheated the oven to 500 degrees, then forgot to turn it down to 325.)’
But all worked out in the end for Martha as she purchased another bird and had it ready for the family to eat at 7pm — six hours later than was expected.
The ultimate Thanksgiving stuffing: How to make Martha’s favorite stuffing
- 12 tablespoons of un salted butter
- Four onions
- 16 celery stalks
- 10 large fresh sage leaves
- Six cups of chicken stock
- Two loaves of white bread
- Two cups of pecans
- Two cups of dried cherries
Melt butter in a large skillet and add onions and cook for about 10 minutes and then add in sage and 1/2 cup of chicken stock and stir
Transfer onion mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes
A meal without Gravy? No way! The cooking guru’s delicious gravy recipe
- Giblets (heart, gizzard, liver and neck) reserved from turkey
- Four tablespoons of unsalted butter
- One onion
- One celery stalk
- One small leek
- One dried bay leaf
Trim any fat from the giblets
Melt three tablespoons of butter over medium heat and add chopped onion, celery, leaves and leeks and cook for 15 minutes, then add four cups of water and gizzard, heart and neck and cook for 45 minutes
Finely chop the liver and melt the remaining tablespoon of butter, add the liver and cook for four to six minutes
Strain broth and add gizzard and heart to broth along chopped liver