The Blondes are never satisfied with the traditional way of doing things, and being blondes, usually find a way to make everything a little harder, but perhaps tastier!
Anyway, we made three, count them, three turkeys for Thanksgiving this year; smoked, deep fried & roasted (we really really like turkey).
Here's how we made the smoked one:
Soak apple & hickory chips in salt water overnight. Brine the turkey overnight as well in salt water.
In the morning, rinse the turkey with cold water & dry it with paper towels. Start the smoker up and try to get the temperature to 235F (to kill salmonella). Put the turkey in and smoke about 35 minutes per pound, make sure the juices run clear. Of course, a rub is always an option, but we like the smoked flavor, so we don't rub our turkeys!
This is what it looked like:
Here's how we made the deep fried turkey:
Always fry turkeys outside on a flat surface
Make sure there is no ice on the turkey (so it doesn't explode)
Don't fill the fryer to the top with oil (bad bad idea)
Submerge the turkey in water first to see how much space it takes up in the fryer; only put in enough oil so that when the turkey is in the fryer, the oil won't splash out on your feet (see next precaution)
Don't wear flipflops!
Never let the oil get over 350F
After the oil is hot (usually about 20 minutes) target temperature is 320F carefully put the turkey (breast side down) in the oil.
Fry the turkey 3 minutes per lb, plus five extra minutes. Try and get the breast temperature to about 170F
Five minutes before the turkey is done, inject the turkey with an appropriate marinade (we used cajun because we're just spicy girls)
Take it out very, very, very carefully.
Here's what it looked like:
Here's how we made the boring old traditional turkey.
We brined it overnight in a mixture of salt walter, fresh chopped sage & buttermilk. In the morning, we rinsed it off carefully and then roasted it in a slow oven (about 325F) until the internal temperature was about 170F.
It was quite good, and quite big: