We give you every variation possible on the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table to bring you the best, perfectly moist turkey you'll ever taste.
Variations on the Thanksgiving Turkey
"This is the best turkey I've ever tasted."
That's what you want to hear. But first ask yourself, "Do I want to roast a whole one again?" If so, we have the tips to turn out a truly moist bird. But if guests are ready for something a bit different, read on ...
Rosemary-Orange Roast Turkey
If you don't like the slightly bitter flavor of marmalade, you can substitute currant jelly for tart, bright flavor.
Brown Sugar-Cured Turkey with Apple-Bourbon Gravy
Roasting dark-meat turkey pieces on a bed of vegetables, fruit, and herbs adds deep flavor to the produce and the gravy.
Applewood chips lend a slightly sweet and fruity flavor to the meat. You can also try smoking the turkey with cherry or alder wood chips for more delicate smoked flavor.
Maple-Cider Brined Turkey with Bourbon-Cider Gravy
If guests expect the ritual carving at the head of the table, opt for a classic whole presentation, like Maple-Cider Brined Turkey with Bourbon-Cider Gravy. This recipe provides rich seasonal maple and cider flavor, and perfect juiciness from the brine. Tip: Use your largest stockpot for brining the bird, or a brining bag.
Braised Turkey Roulade with Pancetta, Shallots, and Porcini Gravy
This pretty entrée is a perfect dish for an elegant holiday dinner and certainly simpler to carve than a whole turkey. The combination of shallots and porcini soaking liquid creates a savory, earthy gravy.
Slow-Roasted Turkey with Cream Gravy
If you're cooking for real turkey aficionados, take the cheffy route to perfection: Cut the bird into parts and slow roast them, basting with a touch of cream, which gives you fantastically moist, rich meat, white and dark alike. If breaking down the turkey seems too advanced, have your butcher do it for you.
Roasted Turkey with Rosemary-Garlic Butter Rub and Pan Gravy
For making a show of the carving: This classic whole-roasted turkey is rubbed with butter and bright-tasting herbs.
Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breast with Pomegranate-Thyme Glaze
Late November may not be prime time for grilling, but adding smoke and fire to the holiday bird is worth the momentary chill. Because this is a turkey breast (and not a whole bird), it cooks relatively quickly over an indirect fire, but it's still plenty big to feed a crowd.