Make Your Turkey with a Twist | Livingnorth.com

Make Your Turkey with a Twist

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Cooked turkey with oranges
Turkey may be tradition, but that shouldn’t make it boring. This Christmas inject a modern twist with lemon rubs, pear and bacon stuffing and cranberry sauce – with a kick

Smoked Lemon Zest Rub
Peppercorns and lemon zest bring out some of a turkey’s natural sweetness, and this rub can work well for a variety of different cooking methods.

Makes enough for 10–20 lb turkey 

Ingredients
1/4 cup lemon zest
2 tablespoons assorted peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander
1 ⁄3 cup salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon oregano, chopped

Method
Remove the innards from your turkey. You can reserve these for gravy. Rinse the turkey under cold water and dry it with a towel. Fill a smoking gun with your preferred wood chips. Place lemon zest in a bowl and line the top with plastic wrap, leaving only a small opening for the hose of the smoking gun. Insert the tip of the hose and light the wood chips. Then, turn the machine on. Allow smoke to sit with the lemon zest for 10 minutes. Repeat the process until your desired level of smokiness is achieved. Grind the peppercorns and coriander, then combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Rub mixture under the turkey skin, all over the outside, and inside the carcass.
 


Cranberry Brine
This wet brine is a wonderful way to sweeten turkey meat, while adding tenderness and flavour, working particularly well on smoked turkey.

Makes enough for 10–20 lb turkey 

Ingredients 
5 cups whole cranberries
3 cups cranberry juice
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
5 bay leaves
1/4 cup whole cloves
1 orange, cut into slices
2 tablespoons peppercorns

Method
Remove the innards from your turkey. You can reserve these for gravy. Rinse the turkey under cold water and dry it with a towel. Add all of your ingredients to the container you’ll be brining the turkey in and stir to combine. Add the turkey and fill with enough water to fully submerge it. Place the turkey in the brine breast side down. Make sure that it is fully submerged, weighing down with plates if necessary then refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove the turkey from the brine and dry the bird inside and out. Discard the brine and cook the turkey.
 


Bacon, Pear, and Rosemary Stuffing
With the addition of smoky bacon, sweet pears, and fragrant rosemary, this stuffing won’t stay on the table for long.

Makes enough for 6–8

Ingredients
13 cups bread, cubed and dried
1 lb. bacon
1 medium onion, diced
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup turkey stock
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dried sage
4 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
3 sprigs rosemary

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 3-quart baking dish and spread the bread evenly in the dish. In a large pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until brown. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the bacon and drain on a paper towel. Keep the bacon grease in the pan. Add onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the stock to the pan along with the salt, pepper, sage, pears, and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the stock mixture over the bread in the baking dish. Cover the dish and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the dish and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the top of the mixture begins to brown.
 


Orange and Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce
The jalapeños and orange zest transport this traditional side into the 21st century.

Makes enough for 4–6

Ingredients
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 strip of orange zest
1 jalapeño, diced

Method
Add three-quarters of the cranberries to a pot along with the sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and jalapeños. Cook on medium heat until the cranberries start to burst. Lower the heat to medium-low, stir in the remaining cranberries, and cook until desired thickness is achieved. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
 


Orange and Thyme Dry Brine
These two complementary flavours yield wonderful results.

Makes enough for 10–20 lb turkey

Ingredients
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 ⁄3 cup salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Method
Remove the innards from your turkey. You can reserve these for gravy. Rinse the turkey under cold water and dry it with a towel. Grind the peppercorns then combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Rub mixture under the turkey skin, all over the outside, and inside the carcass. Cover the turkey with foil and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
 


Recipes adapted from Perfect Turkey Cookbook:
More than 500 Mouthwatering Recipes for the Ultimate Feast
© Cider Mill Press Book Publishers 

 

Published in: November 2018

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