Turn Up Your Turkey: New Ideas for a Delicious Holiday Bird

You’ve had it grilled and brined, roasted and broasted, deep-fried and glorified by stuffing even smaller birds inside of it. But what will you do with the holiday turkey this year? If cooking the same old bird leaves you feeling less than thankful, try a new idea that's guaranteed to provide delicious results. Go sweet or savory or even revive a classic cooking method, just don't serve another boring bird this Thanksgiving.

Glazed Turkey
Roast turkey as usual. Melt an 8-ounce jar of apricot jam or make a homemade glaze according to your favorite recipe. When a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the turkey thigh reads 125 degrees, brush entire turkey with the glaze. Reapply glaze every 15 minutes until the turkey is completely done. Cover the bird with foil if the glaze begins to brown too quickly. Rest and carve as usual.

Slow-Cooker Turkey with Gravy
If your family fights over the white meat why not skip the whole bird and cook up a juicy and easy turkey breast that simmers in its own gravy. Place a 10-pound turkey breast into the slow cooker. Whisk together one package of dried onion soup, one tablespoon salt-free poultry seasoning and one cup water. Pour the mixture over the turkey to coat. Cook on low until the meat is tender, approximately 8 hours.

Bag-Roasted Turkey
The brown-bag turkey cooking craze undoubtedly ruined more than a few holiday dinners during its heyday back in the 1950s. The grocery bags used in those days may have been more organic than the ink- and chemical-laden bags most of us bring home from the market today, but the low cooking temperature required to prevent the bag from burning increased the risk of making guests sick with undercooked poultry. Revive this old tradition by using an oven-safe cooking bag and roasting until a meat thermometer placed in the thigh reaches 165 degrees.

Smoky Spicy Turkey
You don’t have to give up a tried and true cooking method in order to change things up a little. Try experimenting with your bird’s flavor profile instead. Serve up a savory turkey by ditching the traditional poultry seasonings and replacing them with a mixture of smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, harrisa powder, salt and cinnamon. Experiment with the spices until you find a combination you and your guests will love. Brush a light coat of olive oil onto your washed and dried bird, and massage the spice rub over the entire bird liberally before roasting as usual. 

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