Two Everygirls and a Turkey

If you follow The Everygirl on Facebook, you may have read that Alaina and I are planning on making a Thanksgiving turkey for the first time ever in life. While I love a good practical joke, this is actually happening without the help of our mothers or someone (anyone!) who knows what they’re doing. So if the joke is on anyone, it’s us. But in all honesty, I think we’ve got this. Or I hope so. We’ll be posting our adventures in the kitchen on The Everygirl next week, just in time for Thanksgiving. Maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two from us (which is why we’re doing this).

I also plan on tackling mashed sweet potatoes and a fancy/festive paleo dessert for my Thanksgiving dinner with friends. And yes–I plan on posting both recipes on my blog!

Have you ever made a turkey? Any tips for us? Wish us luck! 

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  • Georgina Castellucci

    I have never made turkey thus no tips but wish you the absolute best! 🙂

  • Caz Wilson

    I would definitely recommend brining the Turkey the day before – it comes out so tender and forgives any overlooking mishaps. I love Alton Brown's recipe which you can find on Food Network. That and a thermometer to monitor the turkey while cooking, that way you know when it's done!

    Good luck!!!

  • Emily

    I haven't ever made a turkey either, but I'm really looking forward to this!! Best of luck to you girl, I'm sure it will go very well and be very yummy!

  • Carey Uxa Morgan

    Use your hands to separate the skin from the breast and squeeze a few whole sage leaves under the skin. As the bird cooks, you'll be able to see the beautiful leaves underneath and they'll provide lovely flavor.


  • christinaw

    I agree with Carey – but I rub about 2 tbsp butter under the skin (on the meat) and then add a mixture of sage, thyme, rosemary, and parsley on top. You can also add to that mixture salt, pepper and lemon zest if you want too!
    Just make sure you baste the turkey like every 30 minutes so it doesn't dry out and you will get a nice crispy brown skin !!!
    Good luck!

  • Mary

    I've never made it by myself, but I do know that you should let it defrost completely! Good luck! I'm sure it will be delicious!!

  • Ashley

    I make the turkey at my family Thanksgiving every year and agree, brining is key. I do it the night before. Don't forget to wash it off. I also do an herb butter under the skin and stuff the cavity with onions, apples and a bouquet of herbs. The most important thing with your first turkey is trying to keep it moist. The brine and butter help. Also, olive oil on top gives you that golden, crispy skin. If it gets too dark, tent the turkey with foil. Good luck! I'm sure it will be great!

  • J.Mill

    I made my first turkey last year for my family and in laws. Good in = good out. I bought my turkey fresh (not frozen) here in Chicago at Columbus Meat Market on Randolph. It was de-licous! One of the best ever! Spices, cooking method and brining is up to your personal taste, but make sure you start with a good, fresh bird.

  • Emily Lunstroth

    Good luck, that is so fun!

  • Julie

    If it's unsalted then try brining (basically soaking it in salt water with whatever seasonings you want) if it's salted don't try anything with brine in the recipe – it'll be way too salty. My fail-proof recipe is to mix fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, and parsley (or whatever herbs you can find) with softened butter and rub it under the skin and inside the cavity. Throw a couple of lemons and half a garlic head inside and cook in a baking pan on top a layer of carrots, onions, celery. Cooking time and temp depends on the size. Good luck!

  • Elise

    Brine the turkey. ALWAYS brine the turkey. It will cook evenly, and come out SUPER moist and delicious. I'm trying the pioneer lady's recipe this year…however, every year I find myself watching Alton Brown's "best methods" video on the foodnetwork, and triple checking the suggested cook and portion times on Butterball's website. There…now you know my secrets 😉

  • Yennie Solheim

    I made my very first turkey all by myself, as well as the entire thanksgiving meal, last year for my fiance. We ended up being just the two of us, so I went all out! It was terrifying, but all I have to say is: prepare, prepare, prepare!

  • Heather

    I use Ina Garten's recipe for Truffle Butter Turkey but I use regular butter because I'm the only one that likes the flavor of truffles. It's such an easy and delicious recipe. No basting… just put it in and forget it. Her recipe also uses the trick of putting butter under the skin and I think that's the key to a moist, flavorful turkey.

    Another BIG TIP…. don't rely on the pop-up that comes with the turkey. Get a digital thermometer to make sure the turkey is cooked properly. Good luck! It's not as difficult as you think.

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