And although it can seem that turkey is a one-note dish, there are actually a ton of things you can do with it.
Sure, you can throw it in the oven, but what about deep-frying a turkey? Or injecting a turkey all over with a flavorful mixture?
On "The Early Show" on the Monday before Thanksgiving, we were talking turkey -- unusual, far-from-traditional turkey recipes!
Aricka Westbroks, owner of Jive Turkey in Brooklyn, shared the recipe for deep-fried turkey. Jive Turkey is one of the biggest turkey-frying companies, and it delivers deep-fried turkeys all over the country.
Norman King, test kitchen pro of Southern Living magazine, told how to inject a turkey.
Either way -- you're guaranteed a delicious, if unusual, main course!
1 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
1 bunch of fresh sage
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 10 pound fresh turkey-IT MUST BE FRESH Peanut for frying-however much to fill your fryer (enough to fill up to your fryer's fill line-follow the manufacturer's instructions)
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
When it comes to your fryer, make sure you follow the individual instructions of the manufacturer. Fill your fryer only up to your fryer's fill line. Turn the fryer on high and test the oil to make sure it is hot enough with either a thermometer or by sprinkling it with water to see if the oil sputters.
PUT THE TURKEY IN LEG SIDE UP, tied with twine. This is to make sure that the oil does not get trapped in the turkey cavity. For a ten pound bird, the turkey should only fry for about 20 to 30 minutes. The turkey should be a golden brown. Remove the turkey from the fryer and place on a cooling rack lined with paper towels, or a cookie sheet covered with paper towels to rest.
Allow to rest for 20 minutes to cool the bird.
Mix the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle over the fried bird. Then roughly chop the sage, rosemary and thyme, and mix thoroughly with the room temperature butter. Spread the herb butter mixture liberally all over the bird. Allow to sit for another 5 minutes or so before carving.
SOUTHERN INJECTED TURKEY
Injectable Marinade: Apple Bourbon Marinade
Yield: about 2-1/2 cups
• 2 cups apple juice
• 1/2 cup bourbon
• 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
Stir together all ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves.
1 (12- to 13-pound) whole turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
2 Granny Smith apples, quartered
1 onion, quartered and divided
8 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 fresh sage sprigs
1 (12-ounce) can apple juice concentrate, thawed and divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Remove giblets and neck from turkey, reserving neck. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Sprinkle outside of turkey and cavity with salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; stuff cavity with apple, half of onion, and 6 rosemary sprigs. Loosen skin from turkey breast without detaching it; insert remaining 2 rosemary sprigs and sage beneath skin. Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.
Stir together 1 cup apple juice concentrate and butter. Attach needle to marinade injector, and fill with apple juice concentrate mixture according to directions. Inject marinade into turkey breast several times and into thighs and drumsticks.
Bake at 425° for 20 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°, and bake 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into turkey thigh registers 180°. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Remove turkey from pan, reserving 1/2 cup drippings. Cool. Remove onion, apple, and rosemary from cavity, and discard; wrap turkey in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Chill 8 hours.
Bring 2 cups water, remaining apple juice concentrate, turkey neck, and remaining half of onion to a boil in a saucepan; boil 15 minutes. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a measuring cup, discarding solids.
Heat reserved drippings in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually add apple juice mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Chill 8 hours. Serve warm with turkey and whole-berry cranberry sauce, if desired.
NOTE: Turkey may be basted with apple juice concentrate mixture every 30 minutes if marinade injection isn't available.
Apple-Rosemary Turkey Breast
Substitute 1 (6-pound) bone-in turkey breast for whole turkey. Bake at 350º for 1 1/2 hours; cover and bake 1 more hour or until meat thermometer registers 175º. Yield: 8 servings.