Hi There – Crazy Cook here. While reading the July issue of Food & Winemagazine over the weekend, a lightbulb went off in my crazy cooking head. There was an extensive article debating the merits of seasoning meat before cooking – like up to 24 hours before cooking – or doing it right before you cook it. Now – after cooking not one, but two whole turkeys as part of our recent video cooking demo, it’s clear to me why that damn turkey was SO GOOD! I prepped the whole bird the night before – putting the herb oil (which included plenty of salt and pepp) under and over the skin and then putting it to bed in the fridge under a cozy blanket of foil about 8 hours before it went into the oven. This was done mostly b/c I didn’t want to jack around with the bird at 5 a.m. – I just wanted to get it in the oven.
When Dr. Cathy Kapica and I sampled said bird, we could not belive how flavorful, moist and tender it was! Now I know! Seasoning the meat 8 hours ahead allowed the flavors to really penetrate the turkey and the salt helped keep it moist (instead of drying it out). So, I “accidentally” created the best turkey I’ve ever had (and judging from the feedback on the left-overs we brought to the office, it was unanimous) by seasoning it 8 hours in advance – I might even go 12 next time. Just thought I’d share the secret to superior seasoning!
P.S. Read the article in Food & Wine for more on seasoning different types and cuts of meat from poultry to pork to beef. http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/the-juicy-secret-to-seasoning-meat