Do you have a go-to turkey recipe every Thanksgiving and want to change things up this year? We found some intriguing and mouth-watering turkey recipes just for you. Maybe instead of traditional bread stuffing, you could try a wild rice stuffing and make your turkey gluten-free. Or, move out of the oven and onto the grill and let your bird roast there. If you want a challenge, go for the turducken or do a buttermilk-brined turkey. Not quite a beer can turkey, the beer and rosemary roasted turkey takes things up a notch and keeps it culinary and classy. Then of course there’s the spicy Cajun turkey for those who like it hot!
Cajun-Injected Spicy Turkey (Food Network; Emeril Lagasse)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon concentrated liquid crab and shrimp boil (recommended: Zatarain's)
1/4 cup apple cider
3/4 cup honey
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1/2 cup Creole seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely minced garlic
1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey, rinsed well inside and out, patted dry
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 cups chicken broth, as needed for bottom of roasting pan
· Make the marinade by combining the Worcestershire sauce, crab boil, apple cider, honey, beer, salt, allspice, Creole seasoning, cayenne, olive oil, and minced garlic in a blender and process until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Fill a large syringe* and inject turkey in the breast and thigh area, as well as the back, wings, and legs, with at least 2/3 of the marinade. You will have to fill the syringe numerous times.
· Preheat the oven to 420 degrees F and line a large roasting pan with aluminum foil.
· Season the injected turkey well both inside and out with the kosher salt and black pepper. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil and pour the remaining marinade all over the turkey. Bake the turkey uncovered for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, add 1 cup of the chicken broth to the roasting pan, and continue to bake the turkey until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part between the thigh and the leg registers 165 degrees F. (If the turkey begins to brown too much, tent loosely with aluminum foil until it is done. Also, add more broth as necessary to keep the bottom of the roasting pan from burning.)
· When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and set aside to rest at least 20 minutes before carving.
* Large syringes designed especially for injecting turkeys may be purchased at many grocery stores in the spice / marinade / seasoning sections; many folks inject turkeys before frying them.
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, boned
Salt and pepper to taste
Creole seasoning to taste
1 (4 pound) duck, boned
1 (16 pound) turkey, boned
3 cups prepared sausage and oyster dressing
· Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lay the boned chicken skin-side down on a platter and season liberally with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Lay the boned duck skin-side down on top of the chicken and season liberally with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Cover and refrigerate.
· Lay the boned turkey skin-side down on a flat surface. Cover with a layer of cold Sausage and Oyster Dressing and push the dressing into the leg and wing cavities so they will look as if they still have bones in them.
· Lay the duck on top of the turkey skin-side down and cover it with a layer of cold dressing. Lay the chicken on top of the duck skin-side down and cover it with a layer of cold dressing.
· With the help of an assistant, bring the edges of the turkey skin up and fasten them together with toothpicks. Use the kitchen string to lace around the toothpicks to help hold the stuffed turkey together. Carefully place the turducken, breast up in a large roasting pan.
· Roast covered for 4 hours or until the turducken is golden brown. Continue to roast uncovered for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted through the thigh registers 180 degrees F. and a thermometer inserted through the stuffing registers 165 degrees F. Check the turducken every few hours to baste and remove excess liquid. There will be enough pan juices for a gallon of gravy. Carve and serve.
Buttermilk-Brined Turkey (Williams-Sonoma)
1 1/2 cups turkey brine
1 quart water
4 quarts buttermilk
1 fresh turkey, 16 to 18 lb., neck, heart and gizzard removed (reserved,
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
· In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the turkey brine and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until the brine dissolves, 5 to 10 minutes. Let the brine mixture cool to room temperature. In a large pot, stir together the brine mixture and buttermilk.
· Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and place in a large brining bag. Carefully pour the buttermilk brine mixture into the bag. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and place in a large stockpot or other container large enough to hold the turkey. Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours, turning occasionally.
· Remove the turkey from the brine; discard the brine. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard the excess fat. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the skin evenly with the butter. Truss the turkey as desired using kitchen twine. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
· Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.
· Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF and continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. After about 2 hours of total roasting time, begin testing for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and thigh, away from the bone. The breast should register 165°F and the thigh, 175°F. Total roasting time should be 3 to 4 hours.
· Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 12 to 14.
Grill-Roasted Turkey (bonappetit.com)
112-14-lb. turkey, giblets and neck removed, brined (click for recipe), at room temperature for 1 hour
1apple, cored, quartered
1red onion, peeled, quartered
2tablespoonsunsalted butter, room temperature
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
· Place a large disposable aluminum pan in the bottom of a charcoal grill; add 2 cups water to pan. Fill a charcoal chimney with charcoal; light.
· Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Place apple, orange, and onion in cavity. Tie legs with kitchen twine. Rub bird inside and out with butter. Season skin lightly with salt and pepper.
· When coals are covered with ash, spread half on either side of disposable pan. Set top grate on grill. Place turkey on grate over pan (do not allow any part of turkey to sit over coals). Cover grill. Insert stem of an instant-read thermometer into hole in hood. Maintain temperature as close as possible to 350° by opening vents to increase temperature and closing vents to reduce it, lifting grate with turkey to replenish coals as needed using charcoal chimney. If using wood chips, scatter a handful of drained chips over charcoal every 30 minutes.
· Cook turkey, rotating every hour for even browning (lift the grate with the turkey on it; rotate grate 180 degrees), until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 165° (juices should run clear when thermometer is removed), about 2 3/4 hours.
· Transfer turkey to a platter. Tent with foil and let rest for 1 hour before carving.
Pomegranate-Glazed Turkey with Wild Rice Stuffing (Food Network; Cat Cora)
1 1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed
1 cup roughly chopped roasted chestnuts (fresh or jarred)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh savory or rosemary
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper
1 12 -to-14-pound turkey (thawed if frozen)
4 slices pancetta or bacon
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)
· Combine the wild rice, 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring once. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice absorbs all of the liquid, 45 to 55 minutes.
· Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the chestnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven to remove some of their moisture, about 10 minutes.
· Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, savory and parsley and cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and the toasted chestnuts and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
· Remove the neck, giblets and any excess fat from the turkey; discard. Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with salt and loosely fill with the rice stuffing, leaving space for the rice to expand during cooking. Put the pancetta slices over the cavity opening and secure with toothpicks or skewers to enclose the stuffing. Truss the legs and wings with kitchen twine.
· Rub the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the breast registers 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F, 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours.
· Transfer the turkey to a platter and let rest 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a skillet; add the pomegranate juice and honey. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly syrupy and reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the turkey with some of the glaze. Garnish the platter with rosemary, if desired, and serve with more glaze.
Beer and Rosemary Roasted Turkey (Betty Crocker)
1 whole turkey (12 to 14 lb), thawed if frozen
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 can or bottle (12 oz) dark beer
½ cup cold water
¼ cup all-purpose flour
· Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 325°F. Remove and discard neck and giblets from turkey. Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Fasten neck skin to back of turkey with skewer. Fold wings across back of turkey so tips are touching. In shallow roasting pan, place turkey, breast side up.
· In medium microwavable bowl, stir together butter, mustard, rosemary, salt, pepper and beer. Microwave uncovered on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 30 seconds, until well mixed. Brush about 1/3 of mixture evenly over surface of turkey. Fasten drumsticks together with cotton string. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of inside thigh and does not touch bone.
· Roast uncovered 2 1/2 to 3 hours, brushing with additional beer mixture and pan juices every 30 minutes. Turkey is done when thermometer reads 165°F and drumsticks move easily when lifted or twisted. If necessary, cover turkey breast with heavy-duty foil during last 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours of baking to prevent excess browning.
· Let turkey stand 15 to 20 minutes for easier carving. Remove skewers before slicing.
· Meanwhile, measure drippings and enough water to make 2 cups. In 2-quart saucepan, heat drippings to boiling. In small cup, stir together cold water and flour until smooth. Stir flour mixture into boiling drippings. Continue stirring 2 to 3 minutes longer or until gravy is thickened and bubbly.