Carolina Insight: How to Make the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chef James Loftus, Catering Director and Executive Chef of Reid’s Fine Foods Myers Park, stops by to show us how to make the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey!

How to cook the perfect turkey 
  • Dry brine your turkey 48 hours in advance
  • Dry brine is essentially pre-salting
  • Only use natural turkeys, as kosher and self-basting are already brined
  • Dry brine recipe: 6 tablespoons kosher salt to 3 teaspoons of dried herbs (thyme and rosemary). Rub dry brine liberally all over inside and outside of turkey, and leave uncovered in fridge
  • Advantages of dry brining vs wet brining:
    • saves space in the fridge
    • less mess to clean up
    • perfectly browned crispy skin
    • retaining natural juice instead of soaking up water
  • How to cook the turkey:
    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
    • Rub turkey with butter and fresh herbs
    • Place turkey on a roasting rack
    • Cook uncovered 15-20 minutes per pound
    • Using digital thermometer, check breast and thigh for internal temperature of 160 degrees
    • Let turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving
  • FYI: Stuffing and basting the turkey both slow the cooking process
Reid’s also offers cooked turkeys, sides and dessert for  Thanksgiving. All you have to do is call and place an order, and they’ll have it ready for you for pick-up on Nov. 22 with warming instructions. Phone number: 704-377-1312.  www.reids.com for the full Thanksgiving menu.