As you all know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Just about everybody will be having turkey. Some of you will roast, some will deep fry, and maybe some of you will smoke the turkey. We all seem to do it the same year after year.
How about a little change on the bird this year? How about a dry rub on old tom. Or you could do a brine of some type.
Last time we did a turkey at our house I did a dry rub of lemon pepper with a little bit of salt, then smoked the bird in hickory smoke. If you decide to smoke a turkey, figure one hour per pound. You do not even need a dry rub. Just smoke it. It comes out juicy and with a good flavor. Or you can smoke it for two hours and finish cooking him in the oven the way you are used to.
You can also brine the bird. Try apple juice, not the frozen kind, but real apple juice. Soak it over night and cook it like you normally would. It will give your bird a little apple taste and people will wonder how you did it. Kathi and I did some Cornish hens Tuesday night that I had soaked in apple juice overnight then put them in our smoker. Need I say that we had no leftovers?
Of course a turkey is much bigger than a Cornish hen. Depending on how big of a bird you get, you can get large Ziplock bags. Get enough apple juice to cover the whole bird. If the bird is too big for the Ziplock bag, then get out your summertime cooler. Clean it real good on the inside. Place the bird in the cooler and pour the apple juice over the bird until it is covered under the juice. Let it set overnight. Prepare it in the morning for cooking.
To keep the bird cold over night you can place a bag or two of ice in the cooler. It will not dilute the apple juice all that much by morning.
If you do not want to go that route, then maybe you can take the apple juice and do the injection method. When you inject your turkey you want to get it in the meat and under the skin. Don't be stingy with the juice. Make sure that you get the juice into the breast meat and drumsticks.
Use some imagination. I have even had turkey injected with Jack Daniels. The alcohol cooks off and leaves a nice mellow, smoky flavor.
I know that however you decide to cook your turkey this year that you will have people talking about it. And for those of you who deep fry, please be careful and don't get burnt or start a fire.
I hope that all of you have a great Thanksgiving. And please remember our military. If you have a military vet in your family at home this Thanksgiving give him or her a big hug and thank them. Then give them the wishbone off the turkey.
So, be safe, eat lots, enjoy, and FEED YOUR FACE!