Put a Twist on Traditional
Turkey Preparation Methods
Turkey has long been a holiday tradition; in fact, 95 percent
of those surveyed by the National Turkey Federation (NTF) reported
eating turkey last Thanksgiving. While most Americans preparing
Thanksgiving dinner roasted their turkeys (94 percent), interest
and experimentation in non-traditional methods of turkey preparation,
such as deep-frying, brining, smoking and grilling, are gaining
in popularity. Surprise your family and friends with a new spin
on this old favorite.
It's simple to be creative when you cook with turkey because
it's easily seasoned and complements any dish on the table.
"You can change the flavor profile of turkey by altering the
cooking method, preparation or both," said Sherrie Rosenblatt,
NTF's director of public relations. "Experiment with different
rub and marinade seasonings, then try deep frying, brining or
grilling for added flavor." The Lemon Garlic Roasted Turkey
recipe can be easily adapted from the roasting method to grilling
or deep-frying techniques. The citrus and garlic flavors are
quite complementary to the taste of turkey.
Be creative with other dishes on the table too. 94 percent of
those who prepared Thanksgiving dinner last year included a
stuffing dish. This year, try rice as an alternative to stuffing.
Ginger Citrus Rice is both low in fat, easy to prepare and packed
Don't forget to use these flavorful leftovers for quick-to-prepare
meals. Cooked turkey is an ideal base ingredient for stir-fry
dishes, pizzas, frittatas, fajitas, casseroles, chilis, sandwiches,
salads and soups. For more ideas on using turkey to create deliciously
Marinades are seasoned liquids in which the turkey is soaked
both to absorb flavor and to tenderize. Most marinades contain
an acid such as vinegar, citrus juice, wine and herbs or spices.
One of the easiest ways to marinate a turkey is by using a needle-like
injector. Injectors can be purchased at kitchen supply stores
and range in price from $10 to $15.
To marinate a turkey without an injector, simply use a fork
to make random holes over the entire bird. Place the turkey
in a large, plastic cooking bag or foodservice grade plastic
bag, pour in the marinade, close the bag securely and let it
marinate overnight. Turkey should always be marinated in the
refrigerator. Before cooking, be sure to scrape off excess marinade
and discard. Do NOT re-use marinade to baste the turkey.
Roast until the internal temperature reaches 170ºF in the breast
and 180ºF in the thigh. Cooking times are for planning purposes
only--always use a food thermometer to determine the correct
stage of doneness.