The day to toast (or roast) the turkey is right around the corner. What way are you going to serve it up at Thanksgiving this year – Southern style, traditional, on the smoky side?
The choices for preparing a gobbler are varied, depending on your taste. Here’s a sampling of cooking approaches you can take:
- A Southern tradition, deep-fried turkey is considered by many to be the most tasty, not to mention highly unhealthy. But it’s also lightning-fast to prepare compared to other techniques. You’ll need to cook it outdoors, and there are several types of outdoor cookers to choose from these days. A lot of recipes call for dipping the bird in peanut oil to extract the best flavor, but vegetable oil will do, too. Cooking time usually is less than an hour.
- Prefer three birds in one? Go for the turducken. It’s a turkey, stuffed with a duck, that’s stuffed with a chicken. Talk about variety! There are lots of recipes out there to prepare a turducken, so it’s just a matter of picking one that suits your needs. But be prepared to give this triple threat plenty of time to cook.
- If you want to skip the legs and wings, then cooking your turkey in a crock pot is a good way to go. A turkey breast prepared in a slow cooker is an easy approach that doesn’t take much effort, yet yields a tender, flavorful main dish.
- Another piecemeal approach is braised turkey. Sure, it’s not the same as seeing that big, glorious bird in the middle of the dinner table, but you end up with a moister, more flavorful selection of meat in the end.
- Prefer to see your turkey go up in smoke? Then a smoker will fit the bill. This device gives you more flexibility flavor-wise, depending on what type of wood chips you use. And you can mix it up even more by brining the bird with such liquid treatments as apple cider or wine.
- Maybe you’re leaning toward the smoker’s cousin, the outdoor grill, to handle the cooking. It’s another quick way to prepare the meat, especially if you separate the turkey’s wings, legs, thighs, and breast. Plus it gives you a chance to extend the grilling season.
Whatever method you choose, we wish you bon appetit this Thanksgiving!