One of the most ‘cook-worthy’ holidays is Thanksgiving without a doubt. I believe it is the holiday that lets you show your stuff and own the moment! For a few years, I struggled with Thanksgiving turkeys.
The turkeys never turned out moist. Then, I tried a recipe handed down to me from another family. Let’s just say this is the Golden Standard for turkey basting recipes. Every single turkey I bake comes out moist and is accompanied by a golden brown skin.
As a self-taught chef who owned her own Italian Deli & Restaurant cooking is a passion. In fact, I used to prepare Thanksgiving meals for families for days at a time and for Christmas too. Therefore, the recipe is tested and true!
Today, I am about to share with you what I consider to be the world’s easiest 3 ingredient turkey basting sauce recipe with a cheesecloth!
World’s Easiest 3 Ingredient Turkey Basting Sauce Recipe with Cheesecloth
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I know so many people that add so many different ingredients that somewhere in the mix, the true flavor of turkey gets lost. Honestly, simple is the best. Keeping things streamlined allows for your true skill to show through.
Skilled culinary perfection is not about more, it’s about preparation, technique. In other words, it’s about your end result. In the case of prepping and cooking and cooking a turkey, your end game is about a crisp golden brown skin followed by succulent, juicy meat.
Can you arrive at this with just 3 ingredients? Yes, you surely can.
Cheesecloths & 3 ingredient turkey basting sauce recipe
What in the world does a cheesecloth have to do with turkey basting sauce? Everything. If you have not been using a cheesecloth, I’ll say it straight out, ‘you’ve missed the craft of an artisan.’
A cheesecloth actually is used to slow down the cooking process on the main meat of the bird, namely the breast. Generally speaking, most dry out their turkey breasts because these are not covered.
How? Consider the parts of a turkey, there is both white and dark meat. Therefore, you must cook both. However, dark meat takes 2x the amount of time to cook, yet the breast is the part exposed initially to the heat of the oven.
Slowing down the cooking part of the breast portion keeps it from drying out, plain and simple, but how do you do that? Simple. Use a soaked cheesecloth.
Rules Of A Cheesecloth When Using the 3 ingredient turkey basting sauce recipe
Saturate, then apply to the turkey breast.
Next, no matter when you baste (whatever your method) make sure the cheesecloth stays moist at all times by basting it when you baste. It must stay moist in order to be effective or it is just a layer of cheesecloth doing NOTHING.
Always toss the cheesecloth away when you are done using it, you never ever reuse it. Why? It’s loaded with bacteria.
Last, the cheesecloth is removed about 30 minutes prior to achieving the perfectly temped turkey. More on this to follow so keep reading!
What To Soak Your Cheesecloth In For 3 Ingredient Turkey Basting Sauce Recipe
Chicken Stock (homemade or boxed, but boxed is quicker!) 1 Cup
A Cup Salted Butter (melted)
1 c Cheap White Wine
Cheesecloth (not an ingredient, but a tool in the kitchen)
Make sure to melt the butter. Then add in chicken stock and wine. The correct recipe is equal parts of chicken stock, cheap white wine and butter get mixed together.
Measure out your cheesecloth making certain it will cover the turkey from side to side. Think of it as a rectangular cut that will be layered cheesecloth.
You do not want a single layer, we generally make it three-four layers thick and we cut it into a large rectangular shape that meets close to the size of the breast of the turkey that will be exposed.
Then, place cheesecloth inside of the turkey basting sauce and allow it to saturate from the wet mixture. Once the cheesecloth is fully saturated, apply cheesecloth across the turkey.
As cheesecloth is in place, use more of the basting sauce, poured atop the cheesecloth in the pan, across the turkey. Then, bake for the first 30 minutes. At the 30 minute interval, you will baste for the first time.
Baste, then add the additional reserve of basting sauce to the cloth. Make sure to saturate the entire cheesecloth. Return to oven.
Continuing baking with the cheesecloth in place
Return to baking, then once an hour continues, until the last 30 minutes of baking (whatever your turkey time is due to pounds of your particular turkey). When you are 30 minutes away from the appropriate turkey internal temperature, remove cheesecloth.
Baste one more time, with basting sauce at the bottom of the pan. Return to oven. Allow turkey to finish the roasting cycle and the skin will turn golden brown. Once removed from the oven allow the turkey to stand for up to 1/2 hour before cutting and serving.
Simple. Easy. Delicious.
Truly a fail-safe recipe and very simplistic in nature. Let’s face it, hosting a party is a lot of work, so if you can catch a break on an easier turkey basting sauce, it makes it easier. We’ve used this for years and have been happy that it was shared with us.
Now, we are passing it on to each of you to try in your kitchens, as it is much-needed relief to know that something works and is easy! Enjoy the holiday and don’t forget to have a few sips of wine for me! ~ DANA XO