Tips & Techniques Thanksgiving Adding Flavor to Turkey

It’s easy to create signature seasoning blends for the Thanksgiving bird, from spice rubs and pastes to savory liquid blends. First, choose a medley of your favorite herbs and spices. For the freshest flavor and aroma, grind whole spices in a spice grinder, then custom-blend your seasonings. Add olive, canola or grape seed oil to make a paste, or broth or wine for liquid blends. Dry rubs and pastes are rubbed into the skin, which should be scored first to allow the flavor to permeate the turkey. Alternatively, before roasting the bird, use a flavor injector to fully infuse the meat with liquid seasonings.

Select spices to make a customized rub for your turkey.

Grind the spices in a spice grinder and combine with kosher or sea salt.

Adjust a meat tenderizer to the 1/2-inch setting, then use it to make tiny pinpricks across the surface of the turkey skin. 

Rub the spices under the skin and on the outside of the turkey before roasting. 

Scoring guarantees a succulent, flavorful turkey with crisp, golden skin. It also allows the seasonings to penetrate the meat and encourages the fat to render, resulting in optimal flavor and texture. 

For a fast way to impart flavor and juiciness to your turkey, use a flavor injector. You can insert marinades and other liquid flavorings before roasting or frying the bird.