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Thanksgiving Recipes: How to Cook a Turkey

If you need a new recipe for your Thanksgiving turkey, give one of these non-traditional twists a try.

 

There are many ways to cook everyone’s favorite holiday bird. Each family has its own special technique for cooking a turkey, whether it's using an old family recipe, adding a secret ingredient or shopping at a certain store in town that helps make the turkey taste all the better.

If you're hosting Thanksgiving this year, you can try any of the recipes below to add a new kick to your feast. If you're attending someone else’s dinner, hopefully their turkey will taste as good as one of these!

Just the name of this recipe makes my mouth water. An Allrecipes.com user contributes this Greek take on turkey, which combines ground beef and pork with tangerine juice, rice and other ingredients for an in-bird stuffing. This one requires no pre-made brine.

Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for a Cajun-spiced turkey is not for those looking for a simple roast bird this Thanksgiving. It calls for the equipment and safety precautions necessary to deep-fry a good-sized bird, but for those looking for a little extra flavor and adventure this year, this may be the perfect alternative to the oven. The results will undoubtedly be delicious, but be sure to heed the safety tips at the bottom of the recipe before attempting. If you want the Cajun flavors without the hassle, risk and calories of deep-frying, try this recipe from Jimmy Bannos.

This recipe calls for the use of a turkey breast roast, but variations can be worked out fairly easily for a smaller whole bird or even diced meat for a stir-fry or bake. I’ve made chicken dishes with a very similar yogurt marinade to this one and the key is letting the meat soak up the sauce overnight. The flavors are intense and aromatic, and will definitely lend themselves to a unique Thanksgiving meal.

This recipe’s name—and its use of whiskey—intrigued me. A flavorful blend of unconventional ingredients make this dish sound delicious and feasible, and it requires fairly simple preparation. Check out the chef’s note to see how you can use a crock pot for a quicker, easier version of this recipe. Some of the user comments also have great ideas for stuffings that use the same components.

If you're in the mood for something more traditional this year, try this recipe:

The Food Network’s Alton Brown brings us this fairly simple (for a whole turkey) and by-the-book recipe, which uses a brine peppered with allspice berries and candied ginger. It takes about 10 hours of total cooking time, not including defrosting.

TELL US: What is your favorite way to cook a turkey on Thanksgiving? Do you use any special ingredients? Write your comments in the comment section below. 

ted Aub November 19, 2012 at 02:45 PM
A few years back I read a recipy that said to fill the birds cavity with fresh fruit , so i ventured forth on this and cooked the stuffing outside the bird . Well the results were that the turkey was nothing less than wonderful while the stuffing was not up to par with (in bird ) previous years . My solution was to take some fresh fruit , deseed it and place it in the blender , then add it to your stuffing mix and fill the cavity with your mixture . I prepare the cavity by rubbing it with fresh lemons and limes and I use a butter/salt mixture on the outside before cooking. A lower temperature and frequent basting along with 15 minutes per pound cooking time for a stuffed bird are also practiced .This allows you to keep your families traditional stuffing recipe going , but this addition will keep the bird moist and add a nice variation to the taste . I especially like Granny Smith apples as part of the fruit mixture . Enjoy !
Jenn McCulloch November 19, 2012 at 06:48 PM
That sounds delicious!

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