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Chef Selwyn’s Recipes: There’s More Than One Way To Prepare A Thanksgiving Turkey

Chef Selwyn’s Recipes: There’s More Than One Way To Prepare A Thanksgiving Turkey

There is more than one way to do almost everything. This includes preparing the Thanksgiving turkey.

We all know just how good a slow roasted turkey from the oven tastes. If you’re looking for something a little different this year, here are some other choices for creating a turkey wonder that’s a bit different from the norm, but just as tasty.

Barbequed Turkey — We put everything else on the grill, why not a turkey too? Grilling a turkey gives it a unique flavor and texture much like chicken parts grilled to perfection for a family outing. The difference is that here we are grilling an entire turkey at once. Instead of putting the turkey on the grill slats, it is placed in a baking pan over the flames. This way, the turkey can be basted and seasoned prior to and during the cooking process. As the turkey nears doneness, add your favorite sauce to it for an extra kick.

Fried Turkey — Who would have thought that you could ever fry a turkey? I don’t know who thought of it, but let me tell you, I’m glad they did. A deep fried turkey is delicious.

Many people think there is not a pan big enough to fry an entire turkey and up until several years ago, they were right.  Not that long ago we started to see turkey fryers everywhere. Using peanut oil in a large frying pot, once the oil reaches a certain temperature, a clean and dry turkey is slowly lowered into it. The turkey can be seasoned beforehand or injected with a marinade to seal in flavor. It takes at least an hour to cook a turkey thoroughly. Depending on your marinade on the outside, the skin will be crispy and dark, but don’t worry. That crunchy and tasty skin hides the most tender, perfectly cooked meat beneath.

Turducken — What is a turducken? Actually it is a combination of various de-boned fowl: turkey, duck, and chicken. They are all put together and layered with stuffing to create this newest addition to the Thanksgiving table. The turducken looks like a turkey on the outside, but all you have to do is cut into it to see that it is anything but. Those who have tried them, say that turduckens taste great.

Smoked Turkey — If you want a turkey fresh off the coals, try a smoker to cook your turkey this year. The bird is cleaned and seasoned. It can then be injected with a marinade if the cook so chooses. Once the coals have burned hot and come to a temperature that is not so hot, it will burn the outside skin, place the turkey on the smoker. It will take several hours for this turkey to cook, but placing a pan of water on the smoker will help hold in moisture and create a juicy yet well smoked turkey for everyone to enjoy.

How will you serve the main course of your Thanksgiving Day meal this year? Why not try something new and go with one of the options above?  Better yet, create a combination of more than one, or come up with an original idea of your own. Your dinner guests are sure to be pleased with the results. You might even have more room in your oven, for all the other trimmings for a change.


Plain And Simple Roast Turkey 


1 (18 lb.) whole turkey

5 C of your favorite stuffing

1/2 C unsalted butter, softened 

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1 1/2 qt. turkey stock 


Clean the turkey by removing the neck and giblets and rinsing the turkey with cold water. Pat the turkey dry with paper towel inside and outside. Bring the oven temperature up to 325 degrees. Move the rack to the lowest position you can in your oven. Place a roasting rack into a large roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with your favorite stuffing mixture. Rub the turkey skin with the soft butter making sure to cover the whole outside of the turkey. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper to taste. Pour 2 C of the turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the turkey breast side up on the rack in the pan. Make a tent out of aluminum foil to completely cover the turkey but not over the roasting pan. Place the turkey in the oven and allow roasting for 2 1/2 hours being sure to baste the turkey every 30 minutes with the stock in the roasting pan. If the stock should evaporate add 2 C to the roasting pan and continue adding as necessary 1 to 2 C at a time. After 2 1/2 hours remove the aluminum foil and continue roasting for another 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees when inserted into the thigh. Be sure to continue basting every 30 minutes during the last 1 1/2 hour of roasting. Remove the turkey from the oven and place on a large platter for at least 30 minutes before carving. Serves 24.

Any type of stuffing works with this roasted turkey.  You don’t even have to use stuffing if you prefer not to.  It tastes great with or without.

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