Mayonnaise is a very polarizing food ― you either love it or you hate it. Some people happily slather it on their sandwiches while others are so repulsed by it they went as far as to create a Facebook group called “I hate Mayonnaise.”
And this isn’t just about sandwiches. Many cooks swap out the butter in their chocolate cakes for mayo, creating a moist and decadent cake. Some are using mayo in their biscuits to replace the butter, adding it to their mashed potatoes or even incorporating it to their burger mixture.
But here’s a new one for you: What about using mayonaise in your Thanksgiving turkey? Instead of making a compound butter to stuff under the turkey skin, I like to use a delicious seasoned mayo. It’s a genius idea, and let me tell you why.
First off, I can never remember to leave the butter out overnight to soften. When you use mayo instead of butter, you don’t have to worry because it’s already at the perfect consistency ― it won’t be so hard that you’ll tear the skin fo the turkey trying to stuff it underneath. You can still add all your favorite herbs and aromatics ― thyme, parsley sage, rosemary, garlic, lemon, etc.
Second, using mayo makes the skin super crispy while keeping the inside of the turkey incredibly juicy, tender and flavorful. Third, this recipe couldn’t be easier. Mayo adds moisture throughout the cooking process, keeping the meat moist so there’s no need to brine it beforehand. There’s also no need to baste while cooking because the oil in the mayo will naturally help the skin crisp.
Trust me on this one. You’re going to want to try this technique this Thanksgiving holiday. It might seem a little shocking to slather your turkey with mayo, but I promise you won’t be disappointed. You’ll have everyone asking how you made such a flavorful, juicy turkey.
Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey
1 (10 to 12 pound) fresh turkey
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Rinse turkey and pat dry, removing giblets and neck. Generously season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper – the more the better. Let turkey stand at room temperature for at least one hour to dry the skin.
3. In a small bowl, combine mayo, fresh herbs, garlic, lemon zest and juice.
4. Rub half of the mayo mixture under the skin. Use remaining half to rub all over the outside of the skin. Generously season with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer to roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes.
6. Turn oven down to 350 degrees F and continue cooking until turkey reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the thigh, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
7. Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.