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New twist on turkey?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
With the holidays coming up,I was wondering if anyone had a new or unusual way of seasoning or cooking they're turkey.I'm just looking for something break up the same old bird.
Good food,good meat.Good Lord,let's eat!
Good food,good meat.Good Lord,let's eat!
post #2 of 13
There are a few improve your turkey trends, none of them particularly new. I'm not sure what you've tried already because ... well ... because you didn't say.

1. Loosen the skin over the breast and thighs, and push plenty of dry rub underneath it.

2. Loosen the skin and put a $@#! load of butter underneath. You can mix this with 1, by using a compound butter.

3. Buy a good turkey, nothing "enhanced," and nothing with a thermomter. Go for Free range," a little more actually "free range" aka "certified organic," kosher, live, etc.

4. Brine your turkey. There are plenty of great turkey brines running around. You can shortcut this somewhat by buying a kosher turkey. The kosher method of salting isn't actually a brine, but just like brining results in a more forgiving and juicier bird. On a personal note, I either buy live and brine myself or buy kosher.

5. Smoke your turkey, or have it smoked. Most people who have a well prepared, smoked turkey proclaim "best ah evah et" with their mouths full.

6. Deep fry your turkey in a turkey fryer. Same comments as smoked turkey; with the added attraction that home turkey fryers are actually dangerous and result in any number of serious home fires and injuries.

7. Smoke-Fried Turkey. Partially cook your turkey in the smoker, then take it to the fryer for the big finish. Thus fixing the two problems with smoked turkey: soggy skin and relative lack of danger -- not that I haven't blown up my gas fired 'q a few times. I've never actually done it with a whole turkey, but have done something very similar with chicken pieces. Those are killer; can't see why smoke-fried turkey would be anything less.

8. Bard the turkey's breast with bacon or some other form of pork fat, during the cooking process. Mmmm, pork fat.

9. Inject your turkey with the good stuff. I dunno, maybe this year I'll step up from my "all citrus brine," to some sort of injection, perhaps involving truffles. One never know, do one?

10. Use breasts only, and (brine first, then) truffle them -- again, beneath the skin.

Just a few thoughts,
post #3 of 13
Twists mostly come in changing up the cooking method. Instead of roasting, maybe deep fried which is gaining popularity all the time.

I think turkey takes well to braising though it would need to be a fairly small turkey for most home cooks to braise with equipment they already have. A local buffet always offer a "kettle roasted turkey" which is really braised. I love the big chunky carrots out of that serving tray that are tender and sweet but infused with turkey goodness.

Smoking is good too.

You'll certainly find some different ways of seasoning and cooking a turkey among the Central American cuisines and even the native southwestern US peoples raised and ate turkey. Adapting them to modern equipement or even finding achiote/annato may be problematic for many casual cooks though.

For many people, a simple brine elevates turkey for them. I've personally moved away from the brine to a home-koshering of the bird wtih similar results for much less hassle.

I'm leery of tampering too much with the holiday bird as your family and guests will have certain expectations. Rather, cook turkey at other times of year for experimenting and finding successful tweaks you'll incorporate at the holiday. Turkey is economical even out of the cheap November season.

The last few years I've been turning leftover turkey into tamales.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #4 of 13

Don't you just hate it when someone posts something along the lines of what you wrote just before you hit the "submit" button? You're not alone, my brother.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks,fellas.I've never done the deep fryer mothod,I may give that a try.Heck,I might buy two 10-12 pound birds and fry one,smoke the other.(I have a large gathering)My creativity is going into overdrive this Thanksgiving.I hope that's a good thing!:rolleyes:
Good food,good meat.Good Lord,let's eat!
Good food,good meat.Good Lord,let's eat!
post #6 of 13
If you're looking for a pretty funky looking result and are brave....
loosen the skin as BDL says, compound butter underneath, and add some macadamia nuts to the mix under the skin.

Gives a really weird look, all bumpy and warty looking :) ,l but I've had it done with chcken and it really gives a tasty, unusual twist. Big unexpected crunch and the taste of the nut goes into the flesh too.

You may want to grab a hind-quarter to test if you like it prior to your big day.
Get 2 while you're at it, the other one for making stock for the sauce. The stock could be made ahead of time and frozen, to save time later. Ice cube trays are great for this, cool it, into trays, freeze, then into plastic bags.

Just an idea, but the result is amusing.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #7 of 13
I'm on a cumin/corriander kick right now. Throughout the year I make a single turkey breast for simple dinners and like to experiment with different seasonings. Olive oil/cumin/corriander/salt/pepper is turning out to be a favorite.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #8 of 13
BDL, some really great Ideas my brother. Have you written a thread on brines before?

I would like to know more about it, the all citrus brine sounds cool and I would like to know more about your take on brines in general.

BTW I need to order your cookbook asap, please tell me how and when

PAtch, central americans must have osem delicious methods. I was going to go haitian this time. They have one method of first marinating or brining, then braising then deep frying the braised chunks.

served with starcdhes, veggies and suaces and pickles

its prettry sweet!!!

they also have a metohd of roasting where it is brined and then inserted all over with pastes of veggies and herbs and juices.

i wish i knew how to do it.
post #9 of 13
grillzilla, you should check out the 2 Hour Turkey Recipe. There is a step by step guide and a short how to video to assist you - Safeway - Thanksgiving - Recipes
post #10 of 13
Take a raw turkey, cut off the breasts. Pound them flat like 1/4" rectangles.

Make a mixture of mushrooms, bread crumbs, fennel seed, S&P, turkey (or chicken) stock, rosemary and bacon.

Roll up the roulades with the stuffing mixture, brown in a big pan on all sides, and add more stock, cover, put in oven until internal temp is about 160. (or is it 180, I forget).

Then take it out, set the roulades on a plate with a cover, deglaze the pan, and make a pan sauce using flour make a roux using the fat in the pan, add milk slowly stirring over a nice flame until it thickens.

Later, put the rest of the carcass in the oven. Brown. Take it out and pick off all the meat. Vacuum seal that for sandwiches and such during the year.

Then back into the oven with whatever of the carcass(bones and such) thats left, and brown like crazy. Put in stock pot, brown some mirepoix, make a sachet d'espice, and basically make turkey stock. Can it or freeze it. It is versatile and you end up not wasting any of the bird.

Cut the roulades in slices and serve with the pan sauce.

post #11 of 13
I would like to take the time to co-sign here and add one more point. Lamb Caul fat, if you need to keep it non-porcine for a service, rather than bacon. It's not quite as delicious, but you won't offend anyone who, for one reason or another, doesn't eat pork.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
Dammi un coltello affilato e vi mostrerò l'arte più belle del mondo.
post #12 of 13
In my article on the home page I have a recipe for wild turkey breast that should work just as well with a domestic bird. Given the size differences, I might want to divide each breast piece in half, and make four Wellingtons, but, otherwise significant changes shouldn't be necessary.

So, for a really different take on turkey, try adapting

Wild Turkey Breast Wellington with Wild Mushroom Sauce

¼ cup chicken liver or other spreadable pate
½ oz Cognac
1 pate brisee or other pastry dough
2 wild turkey breast filets, deboned, and tied to form cylindrical shapes
¼ cup butter
2 egg whites

Mix the chicken liver pate and Cognac and spread over the pastry to a thickness of ¼ inch or thinner.

Sauté the shaped turkey breasts in the butter until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Remove the ties and roll up in the pastry, pinching the edges to seal. Place on a sheet pan, seam side down.

Whip the egg whites and brush onto the Wellingtons. Bake in a hot oven (375F) for an hour and 15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Cut Wellingtons in slices about an inch thick and serve over a pool of sauce.

Wild Mushroom Sauce

¼ lb wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbls unsalted butter
2 tbls flour
1 cup chicken or turkey stock
½ cup white wine
¼ tsp tarragon
Salt and white pepper to taste
½ cup cream
1 egg yolk

In a saucepan melt the butter. Add the flour and cook the roux a minute or two. Gradually add the stock, white wine, tarragon, salt and pepper. Simmer the mixture a few minutes and add the mushrooms. Simmer five minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in the cream with the egg yolk. Cook the sauce, stirring, until it is heated through, but do not let boil.

BTW, if you haven't seen the article and would like to, you can find it here:
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #13 of 13
Try a New Fried Turkey Recipe maybe this can help you.

Here are the steps you must try:

1 turkey, 12-15 lbs, thawed
5-6 gallons peanut oil
1 stick butter
3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 lb salt pork, chopped to a fine mince
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large outdoor turkey fryer
1 turkey marinade injector
1 mesh strainer
salt and pepper
Set up your turkey fryer outside; make sure the fryer is away from flammable objects such as your house. It is wise to remove little children and your pets from the area you will be frying in. You will also need a heavy-duty wire to lower and raise the turkey from the grease, most fryers provide this.
The turkey must be fully thawed before frying, as excess water will cause the oil to bubble up.
Combine salt pork with minced garlic and 1 tsp. of peanut oil and fry in a pan on low heat for 30 minutes. Add to the pan soy sauce, paprika and butter and cook until butter has melted. Stain this mixture to remove bigger bits and then pour into marinade injector. Inject the turkey; remove pop-up timer and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Hope this recipe can help your cooking problems. GoodLuck!

Turkey Deep Fryer - Fried Turkey Recipe
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