University of Illinois Extension

Cooking Techniques - The Good Method

Marinated Turkey

(See Wash Hands: Not the Turkey)

Marinating is a soaking technique, which enhances the flavor and tenderness of meat. Since commercial turkeys are young (4 to 6 months) and tender, the mission of this marinade is to spread flavor throughout the bird. Marinating liquid may contain herbs, spices, pepper, garlic, oil, salt and almost always an acid such as lemon juice, wine or vinegar.

Use glazed ceramic, glass and plastic as a holding vessel. A large stockpot or canning kettle lined with a turkey-sized oven-cooking bag can also be used. Add the turkey, breast end first, to the kettle and cover with prepared marinade. Always refrigerate the turkey during the marinating process and do not serve the leftover marinade unless it is cooked first.