Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
The tradition of Thanksgiving dates back a few centuries, yet it did not become a national holiday until the middle of the 20th century when President Roosevelt declared it. Each year, a president proclaimed a day of celebration to be the Day of Giving Thanks until Congress decided to make it permanent in 1941 as the fourth Thursday of November.
Initially it was a Puritan holiday, its origin based on the faiths and practices of Puritan New England. To the Puritans, a true Thanksgiving was a day of prayer and pious humiliation. Auspicious events like the ending of a war or a drought would call for such a celebration. In the 18th century, it evolved into a family celebration with the emotional significance of a family united around a dinner table.
The classic menu of Turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and root vegetables is based on the fall harvest of New England. As the holiday spread around the country, every region would incorporate their own tradition. In New Mexico, Southwestern flavors were added. In Minnesota, the turkey was stuffed with wild rice. In Washington, hazelnuts were featured in the stuffing. In the Southeast, key lime pie became a staple.
I wanted to introduce to you my version of how I prepare the turkey, along with the pumpkin rice that will follow. This is a day where food and family take center stage as a meaningful ritual to all Americans. It is a day where families reconnect with loved ones and express gratitude.
Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
1 13 to 18 lb turkey
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 apple, cut into wedges
1/3 bottle of red wine
1 cup of soy sauce
Lawry’s seasoned salt
2 stalks of celery
1 cup of butter melted
1 stick of butter cut into pieces
Wash the turkey well, inside and out, and let it drain. Cut the citrus and the apple into wedges. Stuff the cavity of the turkey on both sides with the citrus, apple and the celery. Pour the wine and the soy sauce on top. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to up to 24 hours, turning the turkey every few hours so all the sides are soaked with the marinade.
When it is time to cook, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rack on the bottom third of the oven. Melt the butter and add all the marinade. Dip the cheese cloth in the butter/marinade mixture until completely soaked. Lift the skin of the turkey in several places and add the butter that is cut into pieces under the skin. Cover the turkey with the soaked cheese cloth and arrange the turkey on the roasting pan. Put it in the oven to roast for about 25 minutes per pound. Make sure you baste the cheese cloth covered turkey every ½ hour with the butter/marinade. About 45 minutes before the end of cooking time, remove the cheese cloth and throw it away, basting the turkey some more with the remaining juices. The turkey should be a golden color.
Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
Happy Turkey Day! Enjoy!