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.
Or do you prefer to have someone else do the cooking for you, such as Gourmet Again and Boston Market, and the catering ministry at New Psalmist Baptist Church (pick up an order form at the church's member services desk.) Each offers Thanksgiving meals to take home.
Some prefer to let a restaurant do ALL the work, including the serving. Ruth's Chris in Pikesville is open early Thanksgiving Day with a traditional menu, including roast turkey. Reservations are required.
However, if you're game for the whole Thanksgiving experience this year—including cooking and serving—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!
Just the name of this recipe makes my mouth water. 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.
This recipe’s name—and its use of whiskey—intrigued me. 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? Is your restaurant or business open for Thanksgiving? You're all welcome to write your comments in the comment section below.