So many of us look forward to Thanksgiving. Those designated cooks and bakers work their fingers to the bone, and the result of their labor is usually a yummy, some-kind-of-culinary wonderful. It is a joy to be able to contribute in some small way to a warm and fuzzy traditional Thanksgiving feast. But the special day isn’t solely about what is put on the table; it’s about family, friends, and love. It’s about good health, a warm house, and the ability to spend the day with folks we cherish.
Now, circling back to the grub!
Let’s face it; not everyone can cook a finger-licking good turkey. If you’re one of those folks who tend to produce a pile of protein-packed cardboard year-after-year, then obviously, your Thanksgiving bird recipe ain’t the move!
Here are a couple of delicious turkey recipes that will make you wanna slap yo momma!
Yields: 10 to 12 servings
1 12-to-14-pound turkey, giblets and neck removed
3 heads of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 ½ tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 ½ tablespoons black pepper, plus more to taste
1 cup orange juice
1 cup lime juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1 medium orange, cut into quarters (remove seeds)
1 lime, cut into quarters (remove seeds)
1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters
Rinse off turkey very well (inside and out) in cold water and pat very dry with paper towels.
Make the marinade: Combine garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and mash the mixture together with the back of a kitchen spoon to make a kind of paste. Stir orange juice, lime juice and oil into the paste and whisk to combine. Add oregano leaves and mix again. Reserve 1/2 cup of marinade and put aside.
Put turkey in a roasting pan that can fit in the refrigerator and cover with remaining marinade, making sure to get a lot of it into the turkey’s open cavity (innards). Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least a few hours before cooking. Baste a few times with marinade.
When ready to cook, heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove turkey from marinade and place on a clean work surface. Discard marinade and clean roasting pan well. Return turkey to roasting pan, tuck the tips of the wings under the bird and shower it with salt and pepper to taste. Place orange, lime and onion quarters in the turkey’s cavity, then truss its legs together with cotton string.
Baste turkey with pan juices. Continue roasting turkey, basting every 30 minutes or so and tenting it with foil if the skin is turning too dark, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 165 degrees, approximately 3 ½ to 4 hours cooking time. Transfer the bird to a cutting work surface or platter and allow it rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
Yields: 8 to 10 servings
- 1 14-to-16-pound turkey, giblets and neck removed
2½ teaspoons kosher salt or more to taste
1½ teaspoons black pepper or more to taste
1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning
1 Tablespoon of onion powder
1 Tablespoon of garlic powder
1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Prepare outdoor grill for indirect medium-high heat.
Remove any feathers from the turkey.
Rinse turkey inside and out and pat dry. Mix seasonings in a small bowl then rub evenly in turkey cavities and all over skin. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. Return legs to tucked position.
Place turkey, breast side up, on a metal grate inside a large roasting pan. Arrange pan on the prepared grill. Grill 2 to 3 hours, to an internal thigh temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Remove turkey from grill and let stand 15 minutes before carving. Avoid opening lid often because of rapid heat loss. Turkey might require more cooking time if it’s cold outside.