Turkey is a very versatile protein.And, in my opinion, while a roasted turkey can be delicious if treated right, when you smoke a turkey the results can surpass even the stuffed and roasted holiday bird.
I had an opportunity this year to secure a second turkey from a local turkey farm.It was a 16 pound, all natural range raised bird. I saw it as the perfect opportunity to do some smoking, and then to vacuum pack and freeze a number of cuts – especially a lot of sliced meat for sandwiches (see recipe below).
One range raised, natural turkey
For the Dry Brine
Put together a mixture of either dry or fresh herbs. Remember dry herbs will bring a more intense flavour. I used mostly fresh herbs.
Four sprigs of fresh rosemary (strip needles from stem);
Four sprigs of fresh sage;
10 – 12 sprigs of fresh common thyme
Four cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
Two teaspoons of fennel seeds
One tablespoon of lemon zest
One teaspoon of red pepper flakes
One half of a cup of kosher salt
Two tablespoons of turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
Put all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a paste forms.
For the Smoke
Two apples, cut in half
One large onion cut in half, and three or four whole garlic cloves
Four sprigs of fresh rosemary
One cup of your favorite Bourbon
Whiskey Oak Bisquettes
Rub the Dry Brine mixture all over the turkey – top, bottom and inside the cavity.
Chill the turkey, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Thirty minutes before smoking, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and rinse the brine off – take your time with this and get the brine off of the bird.Use cold running water.
Dry the turkey well and put the apples, onion and garlic cloves into the cavity along with the rosemary sprigs.
Rub the Bourbon all over the exterior of the turkey.
Smoke the turkey on the Whiskey Oak Bisquettes at 220 – 225 degrees for 6 – 8 hours
Baste with the Bourbon no more than three times during the entire smoking process.
Look for an internal temperature of 150 – 160 degrees.
When the Turkey has reached temperature and is done, remove it and let it rest on a cutting board for 15 – 20 minutes.
Remove the fruit and vegetables from the cavity.Carve, slice and enjoy!
Recipe for a Delicious Sandwich
This is a delicious sandwich – and one of the major reasons that I smoke turkey! While you can experiment with the type of cheese, it turns out better with a buttery, rich cheese.
One demi – baguette
Triple cream Brie Cheese
Hot pepper jelly
Sliced smoked turkey
Slice the baguette open and spread the Brie on one side of the bread.
Spread the pepper jelly on the other side of the bread.
Layer slices of the smoked turkey on top of the cheese.
Lay the arugula over the turkey, close the sandwich and enjoy!
By the Philly Foodist