So you got your big bird, now what?
You need is a great recipe to do that hard earned harvest honor.
Here are recipes that will make your turkey the dining delight of all.
1. Like fried food? How about a deep fried turkey courtesy of epicurios.com?
What you need:
- 1 (12- to 14- pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
- 4 to 5 gallons peanut or canola oil
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground paprika
- Equipment: Turkey frying kit (30-quart or larger aluminum pot; propane burner with a hose that connects to a propane tank and a gauge for regulating the flame; poultry rack with a hook for lowering and raising the turkey in the pot; 12-inch deep-fry thermometer that clips to the side of the pot to monitor the oil temperature); a full propane gas tank; a waterproof marker; an apron; long heavy-duty oven mitts; an instant-read thermometer; fire extinguisher—just in case
- Place the turkey in the empty fryer pot and cover it with about 2 inches of water. Remove the turkey from the pot, dry it thoroughly with paper towels, and set it aside at room temperature. Use a waterproof marker to mark the water level on the inside or outside of the pot so you know how much oil to put in the pot. Discard the water then wash and dry the pot thoroughly.
- Arrange the burner on a flat surface far away from the house, garage, or anything that could easily catch fire. Place the pot over the burner and clip a long-pronged deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pot. Using the mark you made earlier, fill the pot with oil. Heat the oil until the thermometer reaches 375°F.
- While the oil is heating, make the rub: In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and paprika. DO AHEAD: The herb rub can be prepared ahead and kept, in an airtight container, up to 1 month.
- Starting at the neck end of the turkey, slowly and carefully slide your hand between the skin and the meat of the breast, thighs, and upper drumsticks to separate and loosen the skin. Spread the herb rub under the skin on the thighs, drumsticks, and breasts. Spread any remaining rub inside the turkey cavity and on top of the skin. To ensure good oil flow, make sure the neck cavity is wide open, and use a small sharp knife to cut a small slit through the skin where the leg meets the breast.
- Place the turkey on the poultry rack, with the breast facing down and the legs facing up. Once the oil reaches 375°F, turn off the burner. Wearing an apron and long heavy-duty oven mitts, use the hook that attaches to the rack to slowly lower the turkey into the oil using a stop-and-go method—slowly lower the turkey 1 to 2 inches into the oil then pull it back out a bit, repeating until the bird is fully submerged. Turn the burner back on and bring the oil to 350°F. Throughout frying, adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the 350°F oil temperature. Fry the turkey for about 3 1/2 minutes per pound. Use the hook that attaches to the rack to slowly and carefully remove the turkey from the oil and place it on a cutting board or large rimmed baking sheet. Using an instant-read thermometer, test the fleshy part of the thighs and the thickest part of the breasts (test both sides, close to but not touching the bone); the thermometer needs to register at least 165°F. If not, use the hook to slowly and carefully lower the turkey back into the oil to finish frying. Once the internal temperature reaches 165°F, transfer the turkey to a cutting board, cover with foil, and let it rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving and serving.
2. How about a perfectly roasted turkey recipe courtesy of Ina Garten shared on the Food Network website:
What you’ll need:
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 whole lemon, halved
1 Spanish onion, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves to the butter mixture. Set aside.
- Take the giblets out of the turkey and wash the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, halved lemon, quartered onion, and the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey.
- Roast the turkey about 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 20 minutes.
- Slice the turkey and serve.
3. How about a smoked turkey? Southern Living shared a mouth watering smoked turkey recipe that will bring in relatives you never knew you had…
Stir together kosher salt, light brown sugar, paprika, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl; set Cajun rub aside.
Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for another use. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Rub 1 tablespoon Cajun rub in cavity. Reserve 1 tablespoon Cajun rub, and sprinkle outside of turkey with remaining Cajun rub; rub into skin. Chill turkey, uncovered, 10 to 24 hours.
Stir together butter and reserved 1 tablespoon Cajun rub. Loosen skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin; spread butter mixture under skin. Replace skin, securing with wooden picks. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen twine, tuck wing tips under, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare charcoal fire in smoker according to manufacturer’s instructions, bringing internal temperature to 225°F to 235°F. Maintain temperature inside smoker 15 to 20 minutes. Place hickory chips on coals. Smoke turkey, breast side up, covered with smoker lid, until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of turkey registers 155°F, 5 to 6 hours.
Remove turkey from smoker, cover loosely with heavy-duty aluminum foil, and let stand 20 minutes before slicing.
Any way you slice these turkey recipes will leave you with plenty of leftovers and hunger for more. Get creative and mix and match these recipes with your own ideas. Loosen those tight belts and better break out the suspenders after meals like those! May your holidays be blessed and your turkeys plump.