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Thanksgiving Cooking Tips from Lansdowne Resort

Each Thursday from October 31 to Thanksgiving Day, Lansdowne Resort executive chef Robert Bradley will be offering Thanksgiving cooking tips. Everything from preparing your turkey for that Thanksgiving feast, to how to make a great stuffing, and even what to do with the leftovers will be covered.

In the first of five cooking segments the Northern Virginia resort will share through Thanksgiving Day, Chef Bradley talks about how to prepare a turkey for the oven and the baking process. While baking the bird is important, what is done to prepare it for the oven is crucial to having meat that is juicy, tender and flavorful for everyone to enjoy.

Chef Bradley starts with a spice mixture. Chef's favorite spices to use with your turkey include:

  • Smoked paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chopped garlic
  • Diced onion
  • Salt and pepper

Make sure to liberally use the spices throughout the inside and outside of the turkey.

Then, cut an orange in half and rub it all over the turkey, squeezing it occasionally to allow the citrus juices to remain. Then, insert the orange, and other fruit into the cavity of the bird - chopped red and green apples, and herbs (thyme, rosemary and sage). This will allow the turkey to expand and  the breasts to be raised for the baking process.

From there, take the same spice mixture and rub more of it onto the exterior surface of the turkey to aid with color and flavor. Then, reach under the skin of the turkey and liberally apply slivers of garlic atop the breast. Take some more of the herbs we mentioned and add them to the garlic slivers between the breast and the skin - this will allow the bird to baste while it is cooking. Tuck the wings of the turkey underneath to keep them from overcooking.

Move the turkey from the prep area to a perforated pan - Chef recommends cooking your turkey is a raised fashion, so it is not cooking in its own juice. Insert the turkey into a preheated 400-degree oven. Depending on the size of the turkey, cook it for anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours.

Remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes. This allows the juices to retreat back into the muscle of the meat and it is ready to carve. The turkey will be moist, juicy, flavorful and a highlight of the holiday meal with family and friends.

Watch the video as Lansdowne Resort executive chef Robert Bradley demonstrates. Happy Thanksgiving - see you next time!

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