Turkey

Love of turkey goes beyond just Thanksgiving. From sandwiches to ground meat, turkey has become a leaner alternative to other meats in everyday cooking. Here are recipes and tips for preparing this delicious bird as well as holiday inspiration.

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Turkey Curry

A spiced, tomato-based turkey curry is the perfect use for leftover Thanksgiving turkey. The blend of spices, like mustard seeds and cumin, meld with dried chiles, garam masala, and fresh garlic and ginger for a warming, richly flavored dish finished with a touch of cream. Inspired by the flavor profile of butter chicken, cooked chicken can be substituted for turkey. For a vegetarian version, try with paneer, tofu, chickpeas, or beans.

Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

Rating: Unrated
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Sweet, tangy, and succulent thanks to Rodney Scott’s smoky dry rub and spicy mopping sauce, this turkey is easy to tackle on a kamado-style cooker. While Scott swears by the thermal qualities of a ceramic grill, this turkey can also be cooked in a kettle grill or smoker at 225 until it reaches an internal temperature of 155F or roasted in the oven at 325F (cook times will vary).

How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

Cooking a Thanksgiving turkey is tricky at best, so take heed: If you want to bring a bronzed beauty of a bird to the table, arm yourself with this essential intel.

Chipotle Mayonnaise-Roasted Turkey

Rating: Unrated
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Food & Wine's Justin Chapple flavors mayonnaise with smoky chipotle chiles, then spreads it under the skin and all over the outside of a turkey before roasting. It yields super-juicy, delicious meat that's perfect for any holiday meal.

Salt & Pepper Spatchcocked Turkey

Rating: Unrated
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Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this turkey from F&W’s Justin Chapple. Salt and pepper are all you need when the meat is juicy and tender. Because it’s spatchcocked (the backbone is removed and the bird is flattened before cooking), the skin is supremely crisp and it roasts in nearly half the time as traditional versions.

Simple Smoked Turkey

Smoking a turkey yields juicy and tender meat. The keys to success are seasoning the bird with a dead-simple saltwater brine, then controlling the temperature of the smoker for even cooking. The added bonus of smoking the Thanksgiving turkey? It frees up the oven for sides and pies. For instructions on how to prepare this recipe on a kettle grill, go here.
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Dry-Brined Spatchcocked Turkey

Rating: Unrated
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A dry brine is not only an easier technique, but it also results in crispier skin and more flavorful meat than a classic wet brine. Those final six to 12 hours of drying will ensure crackling, crispy skin.

Turkey Schnitzel

At her restaurant Vic’s in New York City, chef Hillary Sterling hosts a joyful Passover feast, for which she makes this extra crispy turkey schnitzel. Keep lean turkey breast moist and flavorful by giving them the cutlet treatment. A meat mallet makes pounding thin cutlets easy, but a rolling pin is a fine substitute. Pound gently to avoid tearing. If you plan to make this recipe as part of your own Passover meal, substitute matzo meal for the rice flour to keep the recipe kosher.

Lemon-Pepper Roast Turkey

Getting the turkey on the table at the right time can easily be the most stressful part of Thanksgiving. F&W’s Justin Chapple shares his solution: make it the day before. Yes, make your turkey ahead! It’s actually quite simple: After roasting, let your turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving the entire bird. Arrange the carved turkey on an ovenproof serving platter or in a large baking dish and drizzle with 1 cup of turkey or chicken stock as well as any juices from the pan. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature, then reheat for 20 to 30 minutes in a 375° oven, until hot; remove the foil the last 5 minutes. Slideshow: More Holiday Turkey Recipes