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Flavorful Turkey Recipes for Thanksgiving

Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

There’s no one right way to prepare a turkey for Thanksgiving. How it’s made could be based on trends in the part of the country you live in or what flavors your family prefers. This week I’m sharing five turkey recipes that will suit any taste bud.

If you have a smoker, Jason Summers’ (Greenfield, MO) Smoky Juiced Turkey is delicious. It’s no ordinary smoked turkey recipe.

“I have made this turkey the last 3 years at Thanksgiving and everyone just loves it,” shares Jason. “In fact, this year I had to make 3 of them just satisfy everyone.”

Some smoked turkeys can be dry but not this one thanks to the brine. As you cut into it, the juiciness of the turkey will take you by surprise.

The flavors of fruit, spice, sugar, and salt that are infused into the meat. The brine will make the turkey skin a little darker once cooked and that’s OK. So good!

Don’t have a smoker but still want to try a brine? Check out Barbara Lentz’s (Beulah, MI) Apple Turkey Brine.

Barbara thinks it’s a “great brine for a flavorful and moist turkey” and I completely agree.

Brining a turkey means it is soaked in water, salt, and other flavorful ingredients. While the turkey soaks, it absorbs the water and the salt. Salt helps to break down the protein which creates a tender turkey.

The result is meat that’s moist and lightly salted with an underlying sweetness. This brine has hints of spice, citrus, apple, and herbs that are so expertly balanced you’d swear it was prepared by a 5-star restaurant chef. Once removed from the brine, roast the turkey as you normally would.

Aneisha DeArman’s (Washington, DC) Cajun Fried Turkey is a different take on fried turkey. “Mine was so tender and it fell apart,” Aneisha reveals.

Rubbing the Creole spices under the skin and marinating overnight lets the flavor permeate the meat and makes the skin crispier. Wrapping the turkey with plastic wrap while it marinates keeps the seasoning flavor and the trick that makes this superb. It’s spicy and savory in every bite.

If frying a turkey scares you, we’ve put together an article on how to make a deep-fried turkey. It’s a very easy recipe and guaranteed to become a favorite.

The one tip we have is to keep in mind when lowering the turkey, the oil has to fill the cavity of the bird. That’s why it takes so long to lower. If the oil pops a little that is normal. If the oil spits at you, then you are going too fast and slow down.

Cathy Evans Mauricio’s (Grand Prarie, TX) Thanksgiving Turkey will be a wonderful centerpiece at your holiday meal.

“I also cut an orange in half and put them in between the skin and breast (making it appear the turkey has boobs),” says Cathy. “This makes the turkey very moist.”

The seasonings rubbed onto the turkey (rosemary, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, etc) are a great combination. The skin gets nice and crisp while the meat stays tender. The breast meat stays moist from the oranges under the skin and stuffing the cavity with onions and lemons gives the whole turkey a great flavor.

“For you new cooks or those who have not used a roasting bag, this is a no-fail method and you do not have to baste the turkey during the cooking,” explains Nell Stewart (Georgetown, TX).

Once you put Nell’s Roast Turkey in the oven, there is no tending to it until you need to insert the thermometer. Super simple! A great recipe if you’re making a roast turkey for the first time.

Cooking the turkey in a cooking bag makes a nice, juicy turkey that’s full of traditional Thanksgiving flavors with brown and crispy skin.

If you’re looking to try a new turkey recipe this year, give one of these Blue Ribbon recipes a try. Next week I’ll be sharing some dessert recipes. In the meantime, Happy Pinching!