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non holiday turkey ideas

pagesinthesun Feb 27, 2013 04:41 PM

Have you ever served a whole turkey for a non holiday party? I have the "free" turkey that has been in my freezer since November. I've taken it out to bbq it this weekend for guests. We grill roasted our turkey this Thanksgiving. I think I would rather spatchcock this turkey and roast on our gas grill. Has anyone ever used Asian or BBQ sauces on turkey?

Also, any menu ideas that go with the spring season (I'm in AZ, it is really spring here) and a non holiday turkey would be welcome.

  1. juliejulez Feb 27, 2013 08:26 PM

    In college, I was in a sorority, and lived in house. Our "house mother" would do a turkey dinner about once a month for us. But, it was a pretty traditional meal.

    I keep seeing the "buffalo" turkey here on Chow and think it sounds really interesting. http://www.chow.com/recipes/30531-buf...

    1. l
      LP808 Feb 27, 2013 08:42 PM

      I have eaten, but never made, a hoisin glazed turkey. It was good, but whole turkey is a food memory I don't like to mess with. I probably would have enjoyed it more as leftovers in a lettuce wrap, purely for not messing with tradition.

      1. ipsedixit Feb 27, 2013 08:47 PM

        Divide and conquer.

        Spatchcock the bird.

        Steam or poach the breast and make turkey pot pie.

        Slow braise the thighs, legs and wings in a soy sauce, ginger, rock sugar, white wine and star anise reduction.

        Use the remaining turkey parts to make stock which you can then use to make congee.

        Eat the congee with the braised turkey legs and wings as a "starter" and then finish your meal with the pot pie.

        1. w
          wyogal Feb 27, 2013 09:12 PM

          Yes!
          I like to grill (slow, indirect heat, more of a hot smoke in our weber) the thighs and legs, with a dry rub, chili, cumin, etc... it becomes like pulled pork. I make enchiladas, use it for tacos, tamales, serve it with polenta...
          I like to roast the breast with lemon, olive oil, and maybe some herb, your choice, thyme, rosemary, sage, keeping it simple.
          I tend to cut up the turkey when I cook it "off" holiday.

          8 Replies
          1. re: wyogal
            pagesinthesun Feb 28, 2013 02:29 PM

            So you cut the turkey into quarters? I think I will do this for more even cooking. I had thought of a lemon rosemary turkey. Do you think this would work for the legs and thighs too?

            I like the idea of cutting up Mr Tom. I would really mess with a food memory as LP says.

            I love the ideas! Off to dry brine now. I will have the turkey on the grill in some form or another this time tomorrow. Thanks all!

            1. re: pagesinthesun
              greygarious Feb 28, 2013 02:56 PM

              Not quarters. Dismantled to separate breasts from thighs from legs from wings. I roast the legs and wings. Equal parts honey, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil make a good
              baste/glaze. I make turkey a la king from one skinless breast
              (skin goes into stock made from carcass, giblets, and wings)
              and either slice the other breast into cutlets or poach it for use in salads and sandwiches. I use the liver in the stuffing that goes under the parts that are roasting. I do not care for turkey soup but 1:1 turkey stock to beef stock is my favorite for French onion soup.

              1. re: greygarious
                pagesinthesun Feb 28, 2013 03:27 PM

                Even if I'm grilling (gas, indirect) the turkey...should I totally dismantle it?

                1. re: pagesinthesun
                  greygarious Feb 28, 2013 04:10 PM

                  I would never grill a turkey so I can't comment on that.

                  1. re: greygarious
                    pagesinthesun Feb 28, 2013 08:21 PM

                    I'm curious why? I guess coming from TX and now AZ we cook more on a grill than in the kitchen year around.

                    1. re: pagesinthesun
                      a
                      acgold7 Feb 28, 2013 09:49 PM

                      You can absolutely grill a Turkey. Keep the heat low, take your time, and just don't let the internal temp of the white meat go above 150F or you're done for.

                      Spatchcocking, quartering or just splitting the bird is a good idea, and keeping the breast meat on the bone is good to protect the white meat from the intense direct heat of the grill to prevent it from drying out.

                      However, if you have a Big Green Egg, a Weber Smokey Mountain or other Vertically-Oriented cooker, cooking the bird on a vertical roasting rack is the best way of all.

                      1. re: pagesinthesun
                        greygarious Mar 1, 2013 02:02 PM

                        In general, I avoid grilled foods since there's a fine line between seared and charred. I find the more even, overall sear of stovetop cooking preferable.

                    2. re: pagesinthesun
                      w
                      wyogal Mar 1, 2013 10:12 AM

                      It depends on how you want it... I usually do separate applications, some lemon/garlic/herb for sandwiches, and the dark meat for Tex-Mex inspired dishes.
                      I've done a whole turkey, I've grilled the breast, it's really up to you and how you want to cook it. It is much easier to manage if it's a large bird, when it is cut into pieces.

              2. 1POINT21GW Feb 27, 2013 10:28 PM

                Sandwiches!

                Yeah, I sometimes like things pretty simple. White bread, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and turkey, and maybe lettuce and tomato, and, if I'm feeling extra fancy, maybe even bacon. That's it. I can eat three a day everyday.

                1. j
                  Jeanne Feb 28, 2013 07:27 PM

                  I would spatchcock the turkey if you can.

                  I'd also make a basting sauce of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to baste it with to help keep it moist. Apply sparingly because it will flare up.

                  If this post had been earlier I would have told you to try a Mexican marinade of achiote paste and juices used for tix-chix, achiote pulled pork and grilled chicken - but that would involve marinating the turkey over night in the marinade.

                  I think a BBQ sauce would be good - perhaps Asian. What about a Jerk sauce? I think that would be good.

                  Depending on the sauce you use - go with sides for that region/area. Make sure you include a starch and at least 1 vegie side.

                  Good luck - would love to hear about what you ended up with!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Jeanne
                    pagesinthesun Feb 28, 2013 08:32 PM

                    A Mexican marinade would've been awesome! I'm serving my Texas family (who eat mostly steak or mexican food) I should've thought of it more like a chicken.

                    Well, in part, I did. One of my favorite chicken dishes is lemon rosemary garlic. So, this is what I have decided to grill. Salted the turkey this afternoon. I will either spatchcock or dismantle and season with lemon rosemary under the skin. Then baste with butter, lemon, rosemary, garlic towards the end of cooking.

                    We will spend our afternoon outdoors sipping on satlydogs/greyhounds with our AZ grapefruits!

                    Starters: grilled artichokes and homemade hummus with grilled pita
                    Sides: greek orzo pasta (room temp) grilled asparagus and balsamic glazed carrots
                    Dessert: baklava, sliced pears, and cheese (suggestions appreciated)

                    1. re: pagesinthesun
                      j
                      Jeanne Feb 28, 2013 09:58 PM

                      That sounds delicious! Love your seasoning idea/basting idea. I think it will be excellent.

                      With your dessert course I'd recommend brie - put in the oven to melt a little. I know lots of people would scoff at this but I absolutely love melted brie with sliced fruit - with your pears it should be delicious. If you would like - add a couple of sliced granny smith apples - also delicious with melted brie.

                      Please let us know how the meal turns out - looks like you have it well under control.

                  2. pagesinthesun Mar 2, 2013 09:58 AM

                    Soooo, this is what I did:

                    I ended up separating the bird in to quarters (although I did separate the wings from the breast. I marinated the pieces in lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary, crushed garlic cloves, and juice of one orange for about 6 hours.

                    We (or DH) seared/browned the skin and then flipped to skin side up and indirect grilled the turkey.

                    I was happy with the results and my steak-eating Texas family raved! The bones are already simmering in the stock pot.

                    Thanks for all the advice, chowhounders! Happy weekend!

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