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Thanksgrilling Recipes

Recipes for Thanksgiving 2010

Charcoal-Grilled Turkey With Fresh Herb Butter

Author: Chris Lilly, 10 time world champion pitmaster (Big Bob Gibson BBQ, Decatur, Alabama)

1 whole turkey (12 pounds)
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Coarse ground black pepper
Fresh Herb Butter
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/3 cup chopped green onion tops
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups turkey stock (as directed)
2 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons cornstarch

Place the whole turkey breast side down on a cutting board.  Remove the neck and giblets and set aside to make the turkey stock. With a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears, cut the turkey down each side of the backbone, removing it completely. Open the turkey and press it flat on the cutting board. Using a sharp knife, loosen the breast bone from between the turkey breasts and remove it with your fingers. It is a dark colored bone that is often called a keel bone because of its shape. This will enable the turkey to open completely flat.  Apply a light coat of olive oil to the turkey skin and liberally season the skin with kosher salt and black pepper. 

Build a charcoal fire for direct grilling. The heat over the coals should be hot, (approximately 450 to 500˚F).

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan.  Add the remaining fresh herb butter ingredients, mix well, and keep warm until needed.

To make turkey stock, add 3 1/2 cups water, 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, turkey neck and giblets to a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 ½ hours.

Place the butterflied turkey directly over the coals, skin side down, and baste with the fresh herb butter.  Grill the turkey for 5-7 minutes or until the skin starts to turn golden brown and begins to crisp.  Transfer the turkey to a 10”x10” baking dish skin side up, place it back on the grill, and baste with fresh herb butter. Cover the grill and close the air dampers reducing the cooking temperature to 350 degrees.  Cook for 2 1/2 hours basting every hour with the remaining fresh herb butter. The internal temperature of turkey thigh should reach 175-180˚F while the breast meat should reach 160-165˚F. Remove the turkey from the grill, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes prior to carving.

To make the gravy, scarp all of the drippings and liquid from the bottom of the roasting pan into a small bowl.  Skim the grease from the top of the liquid.  Pour the seasoned liquid, about 3/4 cup, into a small sauce pan. In a small bowl, whisk the 2 tablespoons water with the cornstarch until smooth. Add the cornstarch slurry and 2 cups of the pre-made turkey broth to the sauce pan and heat.  Serve drizzled over the turkey or on the side as table gravy.
Serves: 10

Apple-Cider Brined Turkey

Author: Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

12 pound turkey, fresh or thawed

For the Brining Solution
1 gallon unsweetened apple cider
1 cup sea salt or kosher salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons candied ginger pieces
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons allspice berries, cracked
6 whole cloves
3 star anise
1 gallon ice-cold water
1 orange, quartered

2 brining bags

For Roasting the Turkey
1 sweet onion, quartered
1 baking apple, quartered
1 cinnamon stick
Canola oil for brushing the turkey

4 cups apple wood chips, soaked
Foil turkey pan and roasting rack
Cotton string and 1 bamboo skewer

Preparing the Brine Combine ½ gallon of apple cider with all other brine ingredients except the water and oranges in a large stock pot and bring to a boil, stirring until all of the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from heat.

Stir in the remaining apple cider and the ice water. Place the brine in the refrigerator to cool if necessary.

Brining the Turkey Discard the giblets and neck from the turkey. Rinse and pat dry. Place the quartered orange in the cavity. Place one brining bag inside the other. Working in a large roasting pan or a clean sink, place the turkey inside the inner bag breast-side-down and then fill with the brining solution. Squeeze out all the air and seal the bags, one inside the other, ensuring the turkey is completely submerged. I place the bagged turkey inside a large stock pot to help keep the turkey fully submerged.

Brine the turkey in the refrigerator overnight.

Setting Up the Grill for Indirect Cooking
Soak 2 cups of Apple wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking between 275 and 325 degrees. For hybrid grills, light a charcoal fire on one half the grill and let it burn just until the coals are covered with gray ash and very hot. When the grill is ready, add some of the soaked wood chips to the grill. For a gas grill, place them in smoker drawer; for a hybrid grill, place them on the hot coals. If you have a side-mounted smoker box, you know what to do.

Preparing the turkey for the grill remove the turkey from the brine and pat thoroughly dry with paper towel. Place the onion, apple and cinnamon stick inside the cavity, and then tie the legs together with a cotton string. Pull the skin over the neck opening and secure with a small skewer. Set the turkey on a roasting rack inside a heavy-gauge foil pan. Brush turkey lightly with oil.

Roasting the turkey set the turkey in the pan on the cooking grate in the indirect cooking zone. Pour 1 cup water into the pan. Close the grill and cook over medium heat. To maintain an even temperature with a charcoal grill, add more charcoal regularly (usually a few pieces every half hour or so). Continue adding wood chips as desired.

Check the turkey periodically, you may want to cover the wing tips and/or the whole turkey to prevent the skin from getting too brown. The turkey is done when its juices run clear and the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh is about 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Estimate about 12 to 14 minutes per pound, typically 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove the turkey from the grill, cover loosely with foil and let stand 15 minutes. (The temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees as the turkey rests.)

Carve the turkey and serve on a warm platter.
Serves 12 to 14

Roasted Cauliflower
Author: Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

1 large head of fresh cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups alder wood chips, soaked

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking at 350 to 375°F.

Remove the leaves and most of the stems from the cauliflower. Cut the florets into bite-sized pieces. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spread the cauliflower into a single layer on a grill-safe baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the indirect cooking zone. Add the alder wood chips for smoke (learn about smoking techniques) and roast with the hood closed for about 60 minutes total, turning once, until the cauliflower is well-browned (you almost can't over do it short of burning the cauliflower).

With about 20 minutes remaining, place the vegetable stock in a medium saucepan. Reduce over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick. Whisk in the butter until melted and thoroughly combined. Keep warm.

Remove the cauliflower from the grill once fully-cooked and toss with the reduced vegetable stock. Serve immediately.
Note: For roasting, you will need a cookie sheet or half-sheet baking sheet that is suitable for the grill. Even though we are cooking at medium temperatures, it is advisable to use cookie sheets suitable for at least 500°F maximum temperatures. Some non-stick coatings should not be used at these temperatures. I use a Silpat liner in my baking sheets that is suitable for use up to 480°F.
Serves 4

Grill-Roasted Sweet Potato Fries with Maple Soy Glaze
Author: Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

For the Sweet Potato Fries:
2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 8 wedges each
Extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt

For the Maple Soy Glaze:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
Prepare the grill for indirect cooking at 350° to 400°F.

Brush the sweet potato wedges on all sides with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt. Transfer the wedges to the grill, placing them skin-side down in the indirect cooking zone. Cook with the hood closed, undisturbed for about 30 minutes. Check for a crisp outer layer and tender insides. Cook for up to 15 minutes more if necessary.

While the potatoes are cooking, reduce the soy sauce in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently and be very careful not to burn the sauce. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Return to a simmer and stir in the maple syrup. Return to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Set aside and allow to cool and thicken.

Remove the potatoes from the grill and transfer to a serving dish or individual plates. Drizzle with the maple soy glaze.
Serves 4

Savory Squash Pie with Tart Apples and Sweet Onion
Author: Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

1 whole large acorn squash
2 9-inch rolled frozen pie crusts, such as Pillsbury
2 cups grated manchego cheese
2 granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced (skins left on)
1 cup sweet onion, cut into quarters and then thinly sliced
1 cup dried cranberries
3 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
2 cups alder wood chips, soaked
Prepare the grill for indirect cooking at 350 to 375°F.

Place the whole squash in the indirect zone with the hood closed. Cook until softened, about 45 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill and allow to cool. You may also choose to roast the squash in an oven at the same temperature without any appreciable difference in flavor. The squash may be roasted up to an hour in advance of the rest of the pie preparation.

Cut the squash in half. Remove and discard the seeds. Remove all of the flesh from the shells and discard the shells. Slice the squash about 1/4" thick.

Line a 9-inch cast iron skillet or heavy ceramic pie plate with the bottom pie crust. Trim off any excess at the skillet's edge. Proceed to fill the pie, beginning with a thin layer of manchego cheese, followed by thin layers of apples, onions, squash and dried cranberries, using about 1/3 of each for each layer. Repeat the layering two more times. The pie should be over-filled and quite tall. The filling will settle when baked.

Whisk together 2 of the eggs with the cream, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour over the pie filling. Add the pieces of butter to the top. Lay on the top pie crust. Trim off the excess and crimp the edges all around. Cut slits into the top to vent steam. Place the skillet or pie plate on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Bring the foil up to loosely wrap the edges of the pie and help prevent the perimeter of the crust from overcooking.

Place the pie in the indirect cooking zone. Add the alder wood chips for smoke (learn about smoking techniques) and bake the pie with the hood closed for 90 minutes total, turning the pie every 30 minutes for more even baking. With 20 to 30 minutes remaining, pull the foil back away from the edges. Beat the last egg and brush about half of it onto the top pie crust and continue baking for a perfectly golden presentation.

Serve warm as a side dish.
Serves 8

New England Smoked Whole Turkey
Credit of National Turkey Federation

12-Pound WHOLE TURKEY, fresh or thawed
1-1/4 Cups kosher salt
1 Quart hot water
4 Quarts cold water
1 Cup maple syrup
1 Medium onion, thinly sliced
4 Cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
10 Black peppercorns
5 Bay leaves
4 Strips lemon zest
2 Whole cloves
The night before cooking, remove the giblets from the main and front cavities. Wash the bird inside and out.

Prepare the brine. Place salt and 1 quart hot water in a large deep stockpot and whisk until salt crystals are dissolved. Whisk in cold water and maple syrup.

Add onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, lemon zest and cloves.

Cool the mixture in the refrigerator to a temperature of 40 degrees F.

Add the chilled turkey. Place a large zip top bag filled with ice-cold water on top to keep the bird submerged. Place the turkey in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.
Smoking and Grilling
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
Prepare the grill for indirect grilling and preheat the grill to medium heat.
If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in center and toss hardwood chips on the coals. To maintain the correct heat, if using a charcoal grill, replenish coals and wood chips every hour (or more depending on wind and weather).

If using a gas grill, place the hardwood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat on high smoke appears, then reduce the heat to medium.
If using a smoker, light and set it up according to the manufacturers instructions and preheat to 275 degrees F.

Meanwhile, rinse and drain the turkey. Pat with clean paper towels.
Place the turkey on the grate over the drip pan away from the fire. Brush with melted butter. (Use an instant read thermometer to test for doneness-the turkey is ready when the thigh meat is 180 degrees.) Baste the turkey with melted butter every hour. If the skin starts to brown too much, tent the bird with foil. On a kettle grill, tent the sides closest to the piles of coals.
As a general guideline, if using a grill, cook the turkey for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours: if using a smoker, cook the bird about 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
New England Turkey Gravy
2 Cups turkey drippings
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 Cup Madeira wine
1/4 Cup prepared coffee
1/4 Cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
To Taste kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Strain turkey drippings into a fat separating gravy boat and allow time for the fat to rise to the top. Pour the non-fatty drippings into a large measuring cup, stopping when the fat begins to pour. Add enough stock to yield 3 cups.
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Stir in flour and cook until a dark golden brown color develops, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and gradually whisk in Madeira, coffee, cream, maple syrup and turkey drippings with stock. Return pan to heat and bring to a boil, whisking steadily.
Reduce heat and simmer the gravy over medium heat until richly flavored and reduced to about 3 cups, 6 to 10 minutes.
Adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.


Thai Grilled Pizza

Credit of National Turkey Federation

1/4 Cup fresh lime juice with pulp
2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons minced green onion
1 Tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 Teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
As needed olive oil
1/2 Cup sliced green onion
1 Medium carrot, cut into 2X1/8-inch match sticks
1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 Cup grated Mozzarella cheese 
Prepare grill for indirect-heat cooking.

Combine lime juice, soy sauce, onion, cilantro, peanut butter, oil, brown sugar, gingerroot, lime zest, red pepper flakes and garlic in a large saucepan. Stir in shredded turkey. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Unroll pizza dough and pat into a rectangle, approximately 10 x 13 inches. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces.

Reduce grill heat to low. Brush grill rack with olive oil. Using the indirect grilling method, slide pizza crusts on grill and cook until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes until dough is puffy and lightly browned.

Turn pizza crusts over. Top browned side of pizza crusts with heated turkey mixture. Sprinkle with green onions, carrot sticks and cilantro. Sprinkle pizzas with cheese.

Cover with grill lid or tent with foil. Heat pizzas about 5 minutes or until crusts are cooked on bottom, cheese melts and pizzas are hot.

NOTE: To set up GAS grill for indirect cooking, preheat all burners on high. Turn one burner off; place pizzas over “off” burner. Reset remaining burner(s) to medium. Close lid to cook. To set up CHARCOAL grill for indirect cooking, arrange hot coals around outer edge of grill; place disposable aluminum pan in open space. Place pizzas over open area and close lid to cook. 
Serves 4 



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