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Video:"Under the Skin" Holiday Turkey Butter

with John Mitzewich

This holiday turkey butter, put under the skin before roasting, will give you the most flavorful, juicy bird you have ever had. The technique is very easy and you can use any seasonings you want.See Transcript

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Transcript:"Under the Skin" Holiday Turkey Butter

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com. Today I'm going to show you how to make "Holiday Turkey Butter" which is a flavored compound butter we put under the skin. This makes an incredible turkey. So here is how it works.

Turkey Butter Ingredients

Take one stick of room temperature butter, soft enough to mix; 3 cloves of crushed garlic; 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest; 1 tsp poultry seasoning; 1 tsp black pepper; 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt; and about 1 tsp of freshly chopped rosemary.

Mix the Herbed Butter

Simply mix that up. You can do this with any combination of dried herbs or fresh herbs. Sage is popular, tarragon is also very nice -- this is just my favorite blend. This is more of a technique than a recipe. You're going to alter this with your favorites.

Put the Butter Under the Turkey Skin

We're going to stuff it under the skin on either side of the breastbone. You can loosen the skin on either side of the breastbone starting with your fingers with the cavity facing towards you.

Once you start it you can use a small rubber spatula and just work it under the skin, in between the meat and the skin. It will loosen pretty easily, and don't worry about tearing the skin, turkey skin is very tough. So get it down as far as it can go.

Then take half the butter and place it under the skin on one side of the breastbone. Just kind of shove it under there and use your finger to scrap it off the spoon. Once it's underneath use your fingers and hand to spread it from the back to the front. Spread it evenly so you have the same amount across the surface.

Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the breastbone with the other half of the butter. Once you're done you're going to have butter on your fingers and in the bowl, so take any excess butter and spread it over the surface of the skin.

Roast the Turkey

Again, this is not a turkey recipe, this is a turkey recipe technique, so at this point, we're going to go ahead and roast that turkey according to whatever directions you like, and this includes salting the outside and whatever other spices you like.

Buttered Turkey Skin

Turkey skin is waterproof, so when you season on the outside it only goes so far. It really doesn't permeate down into the meat. When you put it under the skin you have direct contact with the meat and it comes out beautifully. Like I said, you put any kind of herbs and spices you like, put it under the skin and roast it how you normally roast it, and you will be very happy with the results.

Come on, you claim to love your family, so why are you serving bland, boring turkey? I really hope you give this a try. Enjoy!
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