When we think about mayonnaise and turkey together, it’s usually in the form of a post-Thanksgiving sandwich made with the leftovers. However, Bonnie S. Benwick, the food and recipe editor for the Washington Post, recommends prepping your bird with the condiment on the big day instead. It might sound strange, but according to Benwick, “the coating of chopped fresh herbs mixed into your favorite mayo keeps the bird incredibly moist and flavors it throughout.”
She’s not the first to suggest this seemingly bizarre mayo technique, though. Epicurious shared its own version back in 2015. Both methods involve adding in your own favorite spices and seasoning — classics like parsley, sage, thyme, and garlic are all great choices — with the mayonnaise and rubbing the mixture inside and on top of the bird’s skin. The results from each publication sang praises of a perfectly crisp outer layer and deliciously juicy meat inside.
We have to admit, the more we think about it, the more this wild idea seems to make a whole lot of sense. The moisture we enjoy from mayonnaise on our sandwiches would definitely help keep the juices flowing while the bird cooks in the oven, too. But what about the flavor? Amy, the blogger behind She Wears Many Hats, tried it out herself and claims the bird tasted just like a scrumptious turkey should. She also added that after trying pretty much every turkey basting, brining, and roasting method under the sun, this technique is “hands-down, our preferred way so far.”
Using mayo can also make the whole thing much easier — there’s no need to let all the heat out of your oven to constantly go back and baste the turkey throughout the day. If you’re still not convinced, you can try a test turkey before the whole family comes over for Thanksgiving to see for yourself. Besides, no matter what method you end up using for the big feast, the festive holiday is all about spending time with your loved ones.