An Ode to Turkey

Ashlee Redger
Test Kitchen Chef
Savory Spice Shop

Print Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest Email
An Ode to Turkey

We all have that neighbor that starts decorating for the holidays in mid-autumn and you know what? I respect that. I applaud their festive attitudes and jolly propensities… but I will never be that person. It’s not that I’m some scrooge or hate happiness. It’s just, well, I really love Thanksgiving. You better believe that as soon as August hits, I’m thinking about what I’ll be cooking on that fourth Thursday of November. (Pictured above: Golden Maple Dry Glazed Turkey)

I adore the sweet potato casserole (whether it’s topped with a pecan crumble or piled with sticky, toasted marshmallows), cranberry sauce is a necessity, and green bean casserole deserves every ounce of love I have to give. Oh! And stuffing (although I grew up calling it dressing and prefer it served outside of the bird) is basically required by law on all Thanksgiving tables. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. What I’m saying is, I appreciate every aspect of this annual cooking fest… but my heart really belongs to the turkey.

Sage & Savory Stuffing

I’ve talked about this before—and even explained how to make the perfect roast turkey. I stand firmly by my statement about the superiority of turkey over ham. No hate to ham lovers, I’ve just never met a roasted ham that blew my socks off quite like a perfectly cooked turkey. Give me a ham with crispy skin, moist and flavorful white meat, and absolutely succulent dark meat; then we’ll talk.

Not on board? Let me elaborate. The dark meat is easy to make great. It’s hard to overcook because of that beautiful layer of skin and fat that surrounds it in the thigh and legs. The white meat in the breast is the tough part (or, rather, it can be). Yes it’s got a layer of skin to protect it, but there’s a lot of lean meat there and not enough intramuscular fat. It’s all about two things: temperature and moisture. Brining your bird (using our easy-peasy Turkey Brining Kit) can go a loooooonnnnnggg way in keeping the breast from drying out. Bonus? You get to season the meat from the inside out.

As for temperature, overcooking the bird is probably what your Aunt Shirley did wrong all those Thanksgivings while growing up. I get it: you definitely don’t want to start carving only to find your turkey hasn’t made it past medium-rare. There’s a solution though. I would swear an oath on the importance of a digital thermometer—the kind with a wire probe thermometer that can stay in the turkey, even while its in the oven. It’s the best tool I have in my kitchen. Put the probe into the thickest part of the breast, set the temperature alert to 160 degrees, and you’ll have perfectly cooked turkey in just a few hours.

So that leaves the skin, the most valuable real estate for flavor. Want to make your turkey unique? Rub on the barbecue flavor with TSM Kansas City BBQ Rub, go Peruvian with our crowd-fave Chile Lime Seasoning, or think Italian with Cantanzaro Herbs—there aren’t any rules here. Rather stay tradish? Tiny Town isn’t called a Turkey Rub for nothing and candle companies should replicate the smell of Poultry Seasoning for the best holiday aroma (back off Pumpkin Spice).

Those rubs are all awesome options. To me though, our limited-time Golden Maple Dry Glaze takes the cake (pie?) when we’re talking turkey. Brush your bird with oil or melted butter, season generously with the dry glaze, pop it in the oven, and baste with drippings every hour or so to hydrate the glaze. You’ll end up with a beautifully golden turkey, flavored with sweet maple, black pepper, herbs, and garlic—AKA a few of my favorite things.


Shop Thanksgiving Essentials


There you have it. I’ve done all I can to hopefully convince you that turkey is oh-so-worthy of its one special day a year. Now, can we all make a promise to wait until Black Friday to start singing jingles?

I want to see your spiced-up Thanksgiving creations! Tag @savoryspiceshop on Instagram to show off your turkey, sides, pies, and any other holiday culinary traditions.

Comments on this Article

No comments on this article. Be the first!

Add a comment:


Email Address: (will not be made public)

To help us reduce spam please click on the symbols in the image below
Captcha Button - Yes Captcha Button - No Captcha Button - No Captcha Button - No Captcha Button - Yes Captcha Button - Yes Captcha Button - Yes Captcha Button - No


5280 Magazine adobo Alabama All Natural allspice Ashlee Redger autumn Back to School Bacon baking bananas barbacoa Barbecue barbeque BBQ BBQ Recipes BBQ Sauce BBQ Spices beans beef Behind the Product Behind the Scenes bison Black Dip Blackening bloody mary bouillon bread Breakfast brine brining buffalo sauce buffalo wings burger Burgers cajun Cajun Blackening california paprika Caramel Caribbean Carolina BBQ Carolina Reaper Cedar Plank chai chasing bbq Chicharron Salt chicken chile Chile Flakes chiles chili chimichurri chinese new year chocolate cinnamon Cobbler cocoa coconut coffee Columbian Columbus Day comfort food condiments cookbook cookies cooking with seeds corned beef creole Cuban Cue Glue curry dairy free dairy-free Denver dessert Desserts dinner dip dip recipes dips DIY DIY Recipe Kits dressing dressings dried herbs Dry Brine Easter Easy Dinner Easy Meals Eggs extract extract recipes extracts fall Fall Recipes Family-Friendly Father's Day fish flavored drinks fresh herbs fudge game day Gardening garlic Georgia Georgia Peach Spice gift gift guide gift ideas gift packs gift sets gifts gluten gluten free gluten-free gluten-free menus gluten-free recipes gluten-free spices Grill grilling Growing From Seed guacamole Ham harissa harvest hatch green chile healthy Healthy cooking healthy eating healthy recipes herb recipes herbs holiday holiday brunch holiday cocktail party Holiday Cookies Holiday Gifts Holiday Meal Holiday Meals holiday menu holiday open house Holiday Traditions hot hot sauce hungarian paprika ice cream Illinois Irish jalapeno Jamaican Jamaican Jerk jerk Kansas City KC Barbecue Kebab Kentucky ketchup lamb Latin Lemon Lemon Bars Lemon Pepper lime Liquid Brine makrut mardi gras marinade Marinades Marinate Marinating marninate mayonnaise Meal Planning meatball Meatless Monday Mediterranean Memphis Memphis BBQ menus Mexican Meyer Lemon Middle Eastern MM Local mustard mustard seeds Mutton New Year's North Carolina onion organic paleo paprika Peach Peaches pepper peppercorns pickles popcorn pork Pork Chops Potluck pumpkin Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin Spice Pyramid Peak Quiche Quick and Easy recipes resolutions ribs Rudspice salad Salad Dressing salads Salmon salsa salt Salt Block Cooking salt free salt-free salt-free recipes salt-free seasonings salty Sauce savory savory spice Scallops seafood seed to seed seeds Shrimp Side Dishes sides Skewers Slow Cooker Smoke Cans smoked paprika Smoothie snacks sofrito soup South Carolina southwestern Spanish spanish paprika spice Spice 'n Easy Spice Club Spice it Forward spice to plate spicy spring Sriracha St Louis St. Louis St. Patrick's Day Steak Stocking Stuffer stocking stuffers sugar sugar free sugar free seasonings sugar-free summer summer recipes super bowl sweet Test Kitchen Texas Texas Barbecue Texas BBQ Texas Spices Thanksgiving Toast toasting seeds tomato Top Chef traditions turkey Valentine's Day vanilla Vanilla Beans Vegetarian vindaloo Weeknight Meals Whole Hog whole seeds wings winter Women's Bean Project