I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was bilingual and multi-generational, which made for a really interesting evening. And we certainly gave thanks to have family and friends around and live in a country like the USA.
So we wound up cooking turkeys three ways this year:
--brined with bourbon and smoked with cherry wood
--seasoned w barbecue rub (roughly equal parts salt, pepper, paprika, and brown sugar) and cooked on a beer can
--stuffed under the skin with truffle butter and roasted on a charcoal burning rotisserie
To gauge the popularity of each method, we used the "carcass test" (which carcass was picked clean to the bone the fastest).
The brined bird was the hands down favorite. Moist, flavorful meat, with a bronzed skin and pronounced smoke flavor. It was even reasonably crisp skinned thanks to a timing error. Smoke temp fell somewhere between 4 and 5 p.m., so we brushed the bird with melted butter and finished it by indirect grilling on a hot gas grill (400 degrees for the last 50 minutes). Like I always say, no such thing as a mistake in the kitchen--just a new dish waiting to be discovered.
The truffle butter bird had the meatiest texture. We kept basting the skin with the pan drippings (which included melted truffle butter).
The rubbed beer can bird was tasty enough, but it seemed sort of two dimensional next to the brined bird, which had flavor down to the bone.
How did YOUR bird come out? What technique worked best for YOU this year? What are you chomping at the bit to try NEXT year?