Just in time for Thanksgiving, Seasoning so beloved, Overseas they try to make their own!
Quite honestly, I’d never heard of Bell’s Seasoning. It’s a 150-year old recipe that’s been the backbone of many a New England Thanksgiving ever since it was invented by one William G. Bell. Back in 1867, Bell became the creator of the country’s first blend of herbs and spices. He was in the right place at the right time because Boston, where he based his business, was a major trading port and a center of imports of spices from around the world.
Bell put together a blend of imported spices, carefully choosing the best of what was on offer and called it simply “Bell’s Seasoning”. Today, the company bearing his name hasn’t changed the recipe one iota. And why would they? It’s perfect for today’s emphasis on all-natural foods and it’s salt-free. About the only change The William G Bell company has made is on its label: Bell’s Seasoning is resolutely GMO Free. Bell’s also resolutely American which is why ex-pats have feverishly worked trying to mimic it abroad. The results are reportedly mixed and have nothing on the original. So be thankful if you live Stateside because Bell’s is sold all over the map.
How to use Bell’s Seasoning? Well their website has a recipe collection and an invitation to submit one’s own. But the one that really rang a bell for me is likely the simplest of them all: It’s called “Bell’s Ultimate Roast Turkey” and it was submitted by a home cook named Sarah Page. Ms. Page gives the recipe credit for being the secret to moist turkey. And it really couldn’t be easier. All that’s involved is taking softened, sweet cream butter, salted and adding garlic, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and of course, Bell’s Seasoning. In the best New England tradition, the dressing is done as a side dish, while Apples and Onions bring flavor to the bird. Meanwhile, the Bell’s Seasoning Butter is spread under and over the skin of the turkey. Ms. Page’s recipe is for a turkey weighing 12 to 15 lbs. If your bird is bigger, by all means, scale up the recipe. And here it is…
Bell's Seasoning Butter for Turkey
Bell's Seasoning is a New England Classic. Here it's whipped into sweet cream butter and used to add flavor to Turkey and keep it moist while cooking
- ¼ lb. Salted butter, softened
- 4 tsp. Bell’s Seasoning, divided plus more for seasoning turkey
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt, divided
- 2 tsp.Ground black pepper, divided
- 12-15 lb. Fresh whole turkey or frozen whole turkey, thawed
- 3 Apples, quartered
- 2 Onions, quartered
- Step 1 1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Step 2 2. Combine softened butter with 2 teaspoons Bell’s Seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in small bowl set aside. Liberally season outside of the turkey with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Step 3 3. Starting at neck opening, gently loosen skin on turkey and evenly spread 2/3 of the butter mixture under skin.
- Step 4 4. Toss apple and onion wedges with remaining 2 teaspoons of Bell’s Seasoning and remaining salt and pepper. Stuff all but one apple into the cavity. Stuff remaining apple into the neck cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen string.
- Step 5 5. Arrange turkey, breast side up, in large shallow roasting pan with rack. Rub remaining butter mixture over outside of turkey. Sprinkle additional Bell’s Seasoning evenly over the top of the turkey.
- Step 6 6. Roast for 10 minutes per pound, basting occasionally with pan juices, until thermometer inserted in thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°and skin is browned and crispy. Let stand covered loosely with foil 30 minutes before carving.
- Step 7 For more recipes using Bell’s Seasoning and to find out where to buy it, go to www.bellsfood.com