Happy one-week countdown until Thanksgiving!!! You get a bonus post this week!
Every year, my husband likes to figure out a new way to make our turkey and they are always SO DELICIOUS! Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have a husband that is an amazing cook?
In past years that we’ve been responsible for the turkey, we’ve had brined turkey, basted turkey, and the three I’m about to write about. We’ve not yet made a deep fried turkey, but, I’m sure one of these years will consist of one.
With Thanksgiving next week, I thought I’d showcase variations of our turkey over the past few years in hopes of inspiring some of you to try a new recipe this year.
Two years ago, my husband actually made two turkeys for Thanksgiving. For about 10 people. We definitely had enough for leftovers (and you have to have leftovers for sandwiches, am I right?)!
One of them was seasoned with butter, olive oil, garlic, sage, rosemary, oranges, grapefruits, salt, and pepper. It was stuffed on the inside with sliced oranges, sliced grapefruits, whole sprigs of rosemary, and sage. It marinated for about 3 or 4 hours. He cooked it in a standalone turkey roaster (maybe it’s just a roaster but since we bought it just for turkey I call it a turkey roaster). The standalone roasters are the best because they free up your oven for all of the yummy side dishes! Here’s the before picture of that turkey:
The other turkey he made that year was cooked on our ceramic egg smoker all day (approximately 2.5 to 3 hours at 280 degrees using a mesquite wood chip although others such as citrus, apple, or hickory can work) and seasoned with a Kansas City-style BBQ rub and it sat overnight in the fridge to marinate. He also mixed up a melted butter, season salt, and black pepper mixture and injected it into the turkey a couple of hours before it went on the smoker (basically took out of the fridge and let it get to room temp). The next day, he pre-heated the smoker to 300 degrees and then lowered it when he put the turkey on.
Here are the before (on left) and after photos of that turkey:
This turkey definitely had more of a BBQ and smokey taste but was still really moist and tender. Slow-cooked meats on a smoker are so AMAZING!
Another year, we made a turkey wrapped in BACON!! I briefly mentioned this in my prior post about apple pie and since Thanksgiving is next week- what better time to introduce you to it? This turkey was seasoned with season salt, sage, rosemary, garlic powder, and onion powder mixed with olive oil to form a thick paste. Then, my husband literally lifted the skin of the turkey and (wearing food gloves) rubbed the paste between the turkey and its skin and let it marinate for about 3-4 hours.
After it was done marinating, we wrapped the turkey in uncooked bacon in a lattice-style pattern. After that was done, it went into our standalone turkey roaster for about 3 to 3.5 hours. To carve the turkey, we took the bacon back off and had a bonus extra dish of perfectly cooked bacon- which totally works for me! It was all so delicious!!! Below is a photo of the turkey wrapped in bacon before it was cooked. Surprisingly, the bacon didn’t shrink a whole lot. The bacon also helps to keep your turkey from getting dry!
How do you plan to prepare your turkey this Thanksgiving? Let me know- maybe we’ll try your favorite recipe out! Enjoy your Turkey Day!