It's still early, but we wanted to get this one out there early to give serious Thanksgiving aficionados plan-ahead time. What follows is a swift stroll through the thicket of turkey techniques you'll find on the Web. We'll keep this post updated with new ones we find over the next month (send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comments).
Oh, and be sure to check out all of our Ultimate Thanksgiving posts. Nothing will help make your menu and decor planning easier.
- Serious Eats does a buffalo fried whole turkey, and it looks awesome:
It's doubtful the first Thanksgiving included any turkey at all (wild ducks and lobster are more likely), but if it did, the Pilgrims probably would have cooked it over an open fire, or boiled it:
- How to Cook Your Christmas Turkey over an Open Fire
- Turkey on a Spit (from CNN, 1996, worth it just to see their Web site 14 years ago)
- Stewed Turkey with Herbs and Onions (from Kathleen Curtin's "Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie")
Tried and True
This section's for 'missionary position' turkeys. There are too many out there to list, but I'll throw down a few I've either tried, or look particularly appealing:
- Martha's Cranberry Glazed, Cornbread-Stuffing Turkey - we do this one almost every year, and it's awesome.
- Alton Brown's Roast Turkey Recipe - brown sugar, peppercorns, and candied ginger. Mmm.
Simple Roast Turkey with Rich Gravy - no bells and whistles here, just a solid baked bird
Is grilling a turkey even unusual anymore? Not to me:
- Beer-Can Turkey - beer-can-anything is good. Nice step-by-step with pics here
- The Greatest Grilled Turkey - lots of very good reviews
- Turkey Grilling Tips - you're looking at around 3 hours for a whole bird (don't stuff 'em on the grill!)
Smoking is grilling at low temps (around 200 degrees), and can be a little dicey with a large bird (salmonella, etc.). Make sure you're careful and get your feathered friend sufficiently hot before you eat him:
- Smoking a Turkey - estimate 30 minutes per pound (pretty much a whole day for a whole turkey)
- Smoking Suggestions [Chowhound] - sounds like brining is a must
- BBQ Smoked Turkey
- Willie-Bird from Williams-Sonoma - free-range, expensive, but supposedly worth the $76-price
Speaking of being careful, deep frying a turkey is a deliciously dangerous way to go. But haven't people been doing it this way for ages? What could go wrong? Lots. Of. Things. Stay outdoors, keep the kids away, and be smart:
- A Deep-Fried Delicacy
- Deep-Friend Turkey Recipe [AllRecipes]
- Coolio's Deep Fried Turkey Recipe - Gangsta's Paradise, Turkey's Purgatory. 'Nuff said.
If it has noodles and "mein" in the title, I'm interested. Here are some recipes you try if you decide it's really not OK to do your Thanksgiving dinner at LeAnn Chin (it isn't?):
- Asian-inspired TG ideas [Chowhound discussion]
- Roast Turkey with Shiitake Mushroom Gravy
- Stuffed Nanking-Brined Turkey with Sweet Rice
Ándale! Arriba! Silliness aside, the Aztecs actually first domesticated the turkey around 2000 years ago, and the bird was a regular part of their diet:
- Mole-Roasted Turkey with Masa Stuffing - this sounds seriously good
- Adobo Turkey with Red Chile Gravy
- Keh Chuuc (Pit-roasted) Turkey Recipe
Give thanks Polynesian-style with a pit-roasted bird. It's simple: big pit in the ground, hot rocks at the bottom, fill with coals, dump in a foil-wrapped fowl:
- Pit Polynesian Luau Turkey [Cooks.com]
- Pit-cooked Turkey
- Dune-buried Turkey Recipes - sadly no dunes around here (Minnesota), but this sounds pretty awesome
- Polynesian-style mumu cooking discussion [Chowhound]
Straight-up, this sounds pretty gross. But then, I'm not a huge fan of wrapping meats in other meats. To each his own, I guess:
- Bacon-wrapped Turkey Recipe [SeriousEats]
- Bacon-wrapped with Pear Cider Gravy
- Pancetta-Sage Turkey - OK, I think I could handle this one
- Turbaconducken - a turducken wrapped in bacon (sigh). See below.
Listen, there's no reason to do something like this to a turkey, a duck, or a chicken (or, for that matter, to your family). Also, you shouldn't eat things that have 'turd' in their name. But if you insist on a ridiculous holiday gimmick, here you go:
Yes, I purposefully chose a gross-looking picture so you'd be turned off of this method.
Sounds bizzare, really just means 'butterflied', and seems to be a trending way of doing turkey this year:
- How to Spatchcock a Turkey [SeriousEats]
- Spatchcocked Turkey
- Martha Stewart: Spatchcocked Turkey
- Roast Spatchcocked Turkey
Smoked Wings w/Dr. Pepper sauce
Yes, you are correct, this isn't a section. It's just in here because it includes Dr. Pepper in the sauce. Do I need a better reason?
Vacuum-sealed food is super-slow-cooked in a water bath at low temperatures (140 degrees or so). In other words, fancy-schmancy turkey:
- Sous-vide Turkey with Grant Achatz
- Once you've gone sack, you'll never go back (Sous Vide Turkey)
- Sous-vide Thanksgiving Turkey
Soup, silly, and sans-meat:
- Thanksgiving Turkey Soup
- Bikini-tan Thanksgiving Turkey
- Vegeatarian Whole Turkey - it even looks like a real bird! Fly, soy! Fly!
Wow! You made it this far! Congrats! What are your favorite, craziest, tastiest turkey recipes? Comment-it-up below!