Ina Garten's Wet Rub Promises More Flavorful Turkey

Thanksgiving may be over, but for many, the turkey preparation season is only half-done. According to Instacart, turkey is the most popular main dish for Americans at Christmas. And, if your Thanksgiving bird came out less than perfect this year, Ina Garten may just have the recipe to keep your Christmas bird moist and flavorful.

Blue Apron notes that two of the biggest complaints about roasted whole turkeys are that the meat is dry or the meat is bland. While the meal prep company offers the tip of allowing your turkey to rest outside the refrigerator for about an hour before roasting so it doesn't go in too cold and will cook quicker, Garten has another solution that will help prevent the bird from drying out in the oven (and instill it with an extra boost of seasoning). 

According to Garten's website, The Barefoot Contessa, the secret to a moist, crispy-skinned, well-seasoned turkey is a wet rub, which is sort of a cross between wet and dry brining without the heavy prep-time and a little a bit of white wine.

The rub can go over and under your turkey's skin

According to The Barefoot Contessa, Garten recommends creating your wet rub by mixing herbs and olive oil into a paste. Her recipe calls for high-quality olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, dry mustard, kosher salt, black pepper, and freshly chopped thyme, rosemary, and sage. After mixing these ingredients together, Garten recommends loosening the skin on the breast then rubbing half the mixture over the top of the meat and inserting the other half under the skin of the breast. This preparation can be done right before the turkey goes into the oven or it could be allowed to sit and soak in.

Before roasting, Garten instructs home cooks to pour about three-quarters of a cup of dry white wine into the roasting pan under the rack. The seasoning will help keep the bird nice and flavorful while the wine will steam up and work with the olive oil to keep the meat moist in the hot oven. After it cooks, allow the turkey to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

For those who prefer butter to olive oil for adding some moisture to your turkey, Garten has a similar recipe technique using fresh herbs and lemon butter applied in a similar manner on Food Network. No matter which recipe you use, the trick is making sure to get the salt and fat content all over and into the turkey breast so it does not dry out as you roast your main course.