Whether you roast a turkey or prepare it smoked, some spices simply bring out the best flavor in turkey meat. Sources for learning about the best spices and seasonings you can use to prepare the bird include magazines, cookbooks, the Internet and cable TV channels like The Food Network.
McCormick Montreal Seasoning with Herbs
Chef and Food Network personality Rachael Ray recommends adding parsley, thyme, cilantro or basil and pistachios into a food processor and mixing until they become a paste. In a second small bowl, she recommends mixing McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, cumin, paprika and coriander. For turkey breasts, the recipe requires that the skin of the turkey is slightly loosened so the pistachio paste can go between the flesh and skin. Also place the herbs mixed in the second small bowl between the flesh and skin as well as directly on top of the turkey's skin.
Spanish Spice Combination
According to Bobby Flay, another chef and Food Network star, 6 tbsp. Spanish paprika, 1 tbsp. ground mustard seeds, 2 tbsp. ground cumin, 4 tsp. ground fennel seeds, 2 tsp. kosher salt and 4 tsp. black pepper comprise a Spanish spice rub. You can place this combination of seasonings on the skin of a turkey before cooking, and it can be accompanied by Bobby Flay's sour orange sauce--made with orange juice, orange zest, honey, chicken stock, onions, garlic, lime juice, black pepper, butter, thyme and parsley--before serving.
Chef Michael Chiarello is another Food Network expert who has a spice recipe for turkey. For a whole turkey, combine four spices to create a fennel rub: 1 cup fennel seeds, 3 tbsp. coriander seeds, 3 tbsp. kosher salt and 2 tsp. white peppercorns. These ingredients must be toasted to a light brown and cooled before grinding them in a blender.
Chef Emeril Lagasse has prepared Thanksgiving turkeys on his Food Network shows as well. Emeril injects his Cajun spice mixture into a turkey's wings, breast area, back and thighs. The Cajun spice comprises 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp. Zatarian's liquid crab, 1/4 cup apple cider, 3/4 cup honey, 1 tbsp. salt, a 12-oz. bottle of beer, 1 tbsp. allspice, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 12/ cup Creole seasoning and 1/4 cup minced garlic.