The best Thanksgiving turkey tips from Mariners executive chef Javier Rosa

Chef Javier shares his secrets for cooking the best turkey of your life. Here’s a hint, it involves a generous layer of mayonnaise. #newdaynw

SEATTLE – If you’re still trying to decide how to prepare your turkey this week, you’re in luck!

Mariners Executive Chef Javier Rosa knows how to cook a mean turkey and he joined the show to share his best-kept turkey secrets!

Make the chipotle mayonnaise

You didn’t think you’d be asked to put pure mayonnaise on that turkey, did you? Chef Rosa chops a tablespoon of fresh thyme and adds it to a mixing bowl, along with a cup of mayonnaise and lemon zest. Zest the whole lemon directly into the bowl, then quarter it and save the pieces for later. After that, grate three cloves of garlic. The real kick comes from the chopped chipotle peppers.

You want to put the mayonnaise on the outside and inside the turkey to make it even juicier. To prepare it, Chef Rosa carefully slides his fingers between the skin and the turkey breast to loosen it up – then, he repeats with the thighs. This step is crucial and allows the mayonnaise to pass under the skin.

Fold the wingtips back to get as much heat as possible around the turkey.

…and start brushing that mayonnaise

Take a teaspoon, scoop up some mayonnaise and put it under the skin just above the breast. With a twist, scoop it off the spoon so it stays under the skin, then use your fingers (on top of the skin) to help spread it. Do the same on the other side and spread some mayonnaise inside the bird as well. Then take the remaining mayonnaise and spread it all over the outside, coating the turkey.

Once the turkey is prepared, Chef Rosa seasons it with flaky sea salt and black pepper. You want to season the meat as evenly as possible, so he recommends using your other hand and placing it at an angle to help put the salt and pepper in hard-to-reach places.

Next, take the lemon wedges and a whole head of garlic – halved crosswise – and stuff them directly into the turkey. After that, tie the legs with twine. This helps the meat cook more evenly.

Take the seasoned turkey and transfer it to a large roasting pan with a rack in it. Roast it in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook the turkey for about an hour and 15 minutes.

If the turkey is browning too quickly, don’t panic, just grab some foil and lay it on top.

The turkey is ready to come out of the oven when a thermometer inserted into the inside of the thigh reaches 165 degrees. Then let it rest for 30 minutes. The end result should be golden and crispy.

Because the meat is flavored with chipotle and thyme, Chef Rosa likes to top the turkey with hot peppers, lemon thyme, and a few garlic cloves on the platter for a great table-ready presentation. Then all that remains is to cut and enjoy.

Segment Producer Rebecca Perry. Watch New Day Northwest at 11 a.m. weekdays on KING 5 and live stream on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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