Secrets to Cooking a Perfect Turkey

Perfect Turkey.png
Perfect Turkey.png

Cooking a perfectly moist turkey with great flavor doesn't have to be difficult nor time consuming! Chef Perry Perkins, author of Fine Frugal Cooking, joined us to share his secrets.

He says the first thing to do is brine your bird, thawed of course. After soaking for a minimum of 8 hours, spatchcock your turkey Here is his recipe:

Chef Perry’s Poultry Brine

  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1 quart turkey stock
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water
  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 2 med pears, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Vegetable oil

To see a detailed video, click here.

After soaking for a minimum of 8 hours, spatchcock your turkey. It's a great way to get your turkey to cook quickly and evenly. For a detailed video of the process, click here.

  • 12-14lb turkey, brined & spatchcocked
  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • Roast 90 minutes, rest 20 minutes


  • Prep 24 hours in advance! Do as much prep work as you can: Make salad dressings; chop onions and celery and store in resealable plastic bags in the fridge; top and tail green beans; make stock for gravy with purchased turkey wings, in advance. It’s just going to get better!
  • Shop early (and late!) – Now that we’re just a couple of days out, you can safely buy most of your ingredients. Onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and green beans, squash, even fresh-looking salad greens will last until Thursday provided you store them properly. DO NOT plan on doing any shopping on Thanksgiving Day!
  • BE THANKFUL! This is what it’s about peepsnot the turkey, not the pies, and (believe it or not) not about being the perfect host. Find a quiet spot to sit for 20-30 minutes, before you start cooking Thursday morning, and reflect on what you have to be thankful for, write these things down, and WHY you’re thankful for them.