Archive for spice rubs

Jack McDavid’s Tips on Keeping Your Thanksgiving Turkey Moist and Juicy

Thanksgiving Turkeys should be juicy.  Sadly, we’ve all endured our share of dry birds on the Day of Gratitude, but help is at hand.  Jack McDavid, Chef and Owner of the Down Home Diner shared two proven methods of keeping the bird from drying out.  Jack suggests employing both of these strategies on Thursday and he’s never steered us wrong.

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Method One:

Immediately before cooking, fill the turkey with hot stuffing and pop it in the oven.  By placing hot stuffing into the bird, you begin an even cooking process from the inside out.  You also avoid the problem of the raw turkey juice seeping into the stuffing and making guests sick, because the interior starts off hot.

Jack’s Stuffing

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 TBSP minced fresh sage
1/2 lb butter
1 cup chicken stock (or more if mixture seems dry)
4 cups cubed day-old bread

Melt butter in large skillet and add vegetables and sage.  Sweat this mixture for about 5 minutes.  Add stock, bring to boil.  Add bread to pan and mix thoroughly, keeping heat on.    While stuffing is still hot, stuff into turkey and cook turkey immediately.

Method Two:  Brine and Rub the Turkey

1 20 lb turkey

For the brine:
4 TBSP sugar
5 TBSP salt
1 TBSP white pepper
3 gallons water

Mix all brine ingredients, and submerge turkey in mixture for 24 hrs.

For spice rub:

2 TBSP sugar
21/2 TBSP salt
1/2 TBSP white pepper

Mix all spice rub ingredients.

Remove turkey from brine.  Rub spice blend under skin, in cavity, and massage thoroughly for about 5 minutes.  Or, as Jack said, “Caress it like you would your girlfriend.  Get to know it real well.  Let that turkey know you love it.  Give it a good rubdown.”    Then stuff it as directed above and…

Roast turkey at 300 degrees for 4  hrs.  If you wish to brown top, raise temperature to 450 for final 10 minutes of roasting.  To ensure that turkey is done, check temperature at thigh.  It should be 165.  If it is not up to temperature, return to oven at 300 degrees and check again in 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, cover, and let turkey sit for at least 20 minutes before carving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Rub Me the Right Way!

Rub-a-dub-dub…..ok, we don’t want to think too much about three tradesmen in a bath together (or do we?) but that’s what sprung to mind when this post started to take shape. No, what we’d prefer to dwell on is the way a blend of spices (aka ‘rub’) can transform a basic bit of animal protein into something nearly divine.

We sought the advice of barbecue guru and Down Home Diner owner Jack McDavid, and he did not disappoint.   If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sampling Jack’s cooking, you won’t hesitate to take his advice.  If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? 



Blackened Rub For Pork, Chicken and Fish
11/2 Tbs Paprika
1 Tbs  Granulated Garlic
1 Tbs Onion Powder
1 Tbs Thyme
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Oregano

Chipotle Pepper Rub For Beef, Pork and Chicken
3 Tbs Brown Sugar
2 Tbs Chipotle Powder
1 Tbs Paprika
1 Tbs Oregano
1 Tbs Dry Mustard
1 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs salt

General guideline is 2 Tbsp spice rub per pound of meat or fish.  To maximize flavor, coat the meat or fish with the spices and rub the mixture into the surface.   Wrap in cellophane for about an hour at room temperature and cook as desired.

After the exertions of all this cooking, you may be in need of some rubbing yourself.  Check out Eviama Spa for delicious treatments, many of which feature herbs and spices.  The magicians at Eviama use lavender oils and baths to soothe and relax.  They blend mint with coffee grounds to exfoliate the feet, and they use rosemary and sage in massages and other body treatments to energize and rejuvenate.  Yum.