If you’re looking for Holiday Turkey Ideas, then I have some Thanksgiving Twists on the Traditional for you. Let’s face it, most of us keep to and enjoy certain traditional dishes for the Holiday season, and we associate the very enjoyment of the holidays with the foods we most commonly prefer to eat. These foods warm us and seem to create comfort. The most obvious food is Thanksgiving and Christmas roasted turkey. However, by treating your turkey in different ways, you will still have the prerequisite turkey, with a cooking twist.
For those purists out there, here is my recipe for our Holiday turkey below.
Deep Fried Turkey:
You might try to prepare a deep fried turkey, which is surprisingly good, with a crispy, crusty skin that your diners will covet, but there will be enough for everyone to get some of the most desired morsel. It is quite a quick way of preparing the main entrée. If you have a large electric fryer, specifically designed for this purpose, the frying can be done outdoors, to keep the smells of the frying oil out of the kitchen.
BBQ turkey is another option, with the dark flavored taste created by the outdoor barbeque. You can use a favorite BBQ sauce to baste the turkey, or keep to using melted butter. The deep, sultry flavor of your BBQ sauce will permeate all of the turkey meat. Another twist to the normally roasted turkey.
BBQ Turkey Recipe:
Braise & Glaze:
Instead of using dry heat to roast your turkey, you can add a bit of liquid, whether that’s water with some spices, tea, beer, wine, liquor or even juice. This keeps the meat tender & juicy, as well as imparting flavor.
Then, you can broil it on low at the end to crisp up the skin, or you can add a fabulous glaze of some sort that will caramelize as the bird cooks.
Napa Valley Vinegar Co. has a line of balsamic vinegars that are sweet & thick like balsamic creams with the consistency of maple syrup, but with gorgeous combinations of fruit flavors, perfect for this season. Here are three from their line I think would pair perfectly on a holiday turkey, all from Wine Country Kitchens.
- Napa Valley Pomegranate White Balsamic Vinegar: Much lighter in color that the next two suggested balsamics, but not a push-over when it comes to flavor. Full of pomegranate goodness and a more mild white balsamic vinegar, your turkey will still achieve a browned color without giving it as dark a finish. Great on poultry!
- Napa Valley Tres Citrus Balsamic Vinegar: This vinegar would give a gorgeous citrus flair, keeping with the season, with a sweetness & color that will caramelize beautifully on a bird.
- Napa Valley Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar: This thick balsamic vinegar is full of blackberry flavor with that gingery kick we all love around the holidays.
Although we have never smoked a turkey, this is another feasible alternative, and it will likely fill the turkey meat with a sultry smokiness, which will be very delicious. Judging from how much I like other smoked meats, I believe that smoking the turkey would be very appealing and tasty. Turkey – but different.
Brining is a very good way to pre-treat the turkey, tenderizing the meat by infusing it, with the brining seasonings. Left overnight to soak in, the turkey cooks more quickly than roasting. It will be taste of slightly salty, pure turkey. Brining eliminates the need of extra salt during or after brining. Again, the taste is different from roasted turkey, but it is still turkey and still delicious.
Now that you’ve brined the bird, here’s how to prepare it for cooking below.
- In your household on the Holidays, do people fight over getting a turkey leg, wing or maybe breast meat?
- Are you only cooking for two or three people?
Try cooking portions of a turkey instead. Not only are whole turkeys expensive these days, but many people out there simply cannot store a large turkey in their freezer until they cook it up for the Holidays. Purchasing turkey legs, wings or whole breasts are more inexpensive, and can feed smaller crowds. Also, if there are people who covet different parts of the turkey, then cook up more turkey legs or wings for them. Now, everyone can have the piece they want. If you purchase a whole turkey, maybe even a utility turkey, you can cut it in half to store and cook for 2 different dinners instead of a whole turkey. It’s a time saver too.
Turkey Portion Recipes:
Hopefully, you will step out of your comfort zone and try a Thanksgiving twist on the traditional favorite of roasted turkey.
- How to Prepare a Brined Turkey for Roasting + Video
- Web Chef Review: Napa Valley Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
- Web Chef Review: Napa Valley Bordeaux Cherry Balsamic Vinegar
- How to Make Kimberly’s Ultimate Holiday Turkey Brine
- How to Cook Napa Valley Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Ham + Video