Many people say that turkey is best served at Thanksgiving and ham is the meat of choice for Christmas. However, you may find yourself in the camp that simply prefers turkey to ham. There are ways that you can spice up your turkey to embellish it and give it a different taste than your Thanksgiving meal. There are two main ways that you can season your turkey, sweet or savory.
A maple syrup glaze is one way that you can season your turkey to be sweet. It is important to use pure maple syrup, instead of something made with corn syrup, in order to get the best and most pure flavor.
Another option would be to combine brown sugar with mustard. You can choose different types of mustard, but a spicy brown mustard is a great compliment to the brown sugar. The different ingredients work together so that neither flavor stands out.
Cranberries are in season at Christmas time and make an excellent glaze for turkey. Cranberries are very tart on their own and so they need extra sweeteners such as pure maple syrup, red-currant jelly and apple cider. The combination gives the turkey a sweet and tart flavor.
Most savory turkeys are rubbed with spices. A combination of thyme, peppercorn, bay leaves, coarse salt and pepper create a great roast turkey. Combing herbs such as marjoram, thyme, and sage, along with salt and pepper give a turkey great flavor.
Before you put your spices on the turkey you should rub it in salted butter. When you rub the butter on the turkey after it has been in the oven a little while it will soak into the skin and meat better than if you do it when the bird is cold.
You could also cover the skin of the turkey with bacon as it is cooking. The bacon will add more flavors to the turkey while preventing the skin of the turkey from getting too brown.
No matter whether you choose to cook a sweet or savory turkey for Christmas you should always brine the turkey overnight prior to cooking. Covers your turkey salted water and let it sit for several hours. This will help ensure that the meat is tender and juicy when it is time to eat.