There are many ways to cook everyone’s favorite holiday bird. Each family has its own special technique for cooking a turkey, whether it's using an old family recipe, adding a secret ingredient or shopping at a certain store in town that helps make the turkey taste all the better.
If you're hosting Thanksgiving this year, you can try any of the recipes below to add a new kick to your feast. If you're attending someone else’s dinner, hopefully their turkey will taste as good as one of these!
An Allrecipes.com user contributes this Greek take on turkey, which combines ground beef and pork with tangerine juice, rice and other ingredients for an in-bird stuffing. This one requires no pre-made brine.
Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for a Cajun-spiced turkey is not for those looking for a simple roast bird this Thanksgiving. It calls for the equipment and safety precautions necessary to deep-fry a good-sized bird, but for those looking for a little extra flavor and adventure this year, this may be the perfect alternative to the oven. The results will undoubtedly be delicious, but be sure to heed the safety tips at the bottom of the recipe before attempting. If you want the Cajun flavors without the hassle, risk and calories of deep-frying, try this recipe from Jimmy Bannos.
This recipe calls for the use of a turkey breast roast, but variations can be worked out fairly easily for a smaller whole bird or even diced meat for a stir-fry or bake. I’ve made chicken dishes with a very similar yogurt marinade to this one and the key is letting the meat soak up the sauce overnight. The flavors are intense and aromatic, and will definitely lend themselves to a unique Thanksgiving meal.
- Bacon-Wrapped Turkey (Courtesy of Tara Johnston)
Preheat oven to 475. Stuff turkey with one large chopped onion and 4-6 cloves of garlic. Melt 1/4 cup of butter with rosemary and clove of garlic. Let butter cool. slather butter mixture in-between breast and skin. Cover turkey with raw bacon. Wrap the legs and wings with bacon. Bacon can be laid over the rest of the turkey in a weaved lattice style. Tip (cook turkey in large oven container with a lift out rack, because there will be a lot of grease and fat).
Put turkey in preheated 475 oven for 20 minutes then turn heat down to 250 and cook 20 additional minutes per pound. No need to baste. For the last 20 minutes turn heat up to 350 to finish croaking bacon. Test with meat thermometer: Breast should be 170 degrees and thigh 180.
A flavorful blend of unconventional ingredients make this dish sound delicious and feasible, and it requires fairly simple preparation. Check out the chef’s note to see how you can use a crock pot for a quicker, easier version of this recipe. Some of the user comments also have great ideas for stuffings that use the same components.
If you're in the mood for something more traditional this year, try this recipe:
The Food Network’s Alton Brown brings us this fairly simple (for a whole turkey) and by-the-book recipe, which uses a brine peppered with allspice berries and candied ginger. It takes about 10 hours of total cooking time, not including defrosting.
TELL US: What is your favorite way to cook a turkey on Thanksgiving? Do you use any special ingredients? Write your comments in the comment section below.