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Evil Turkey and Other Thoughts on Preparing Your Thanksgiving Bird

Greek turkey, Cajun turkey, Indian-spiced turkey—any one of these non-traditional recipes can liven up your holiday meal.

There are countless ways to cook everyone’s favorite holiday bird. Each family has its own special technique for preparing a turkey, whether it's using an old family recipe, adding a secret ingredient, or shopping at a certain store that helps make the turkey taste all the better.

If you're hosting Thanksgiving this year, consider of the recipes below to add a new kick to your feast. (And if you're attending someone else’s dinner, hopefully their turkey will taste as good as one of these!)

Greek Traditional Turkey (with Chestnut and Pine Nut Stuffing)

Just the name of this recipe sets the mouth watering. An Allrecipes.com user contributes this Greek take on turkey, which combines ground beef and pork with tangerine juice, rice and other ingredients for an in-bird stuffing. This one requires no pre-made brine.

Deep-Fried Cajun Turkey

Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for a Cajun-spiced turkey is not for those looking for a simple roast bird this Thanksgiving. It calls for the equipment and safety precautions necessary to deep-fry a good-sized bird, but for those looking for a little extra flavor and adventure this year, this may be the perfect alternative to the oven. The results will undoubtedly be delicious, but be sure to heed the safety tips at the bottom of the recipe before attempting. If you want the Cajun flavors without the hassle, risk and calories of deep-frying, try this recipe from Jimmy Bannos.

Indian-Spiced Roast Turkey

This recipe calls for the use of a turkey breast roast, but variations can be worked out fairly easily for a smaller whole bird or even diced meat for a stir-fry or bake. The key is letting the meat soak up the sauce overnight: the flavors are intense and aromatic, and will definitely lend themselves to a unique Thanksgiving meal.

Evil Turkey

This recipe’s name—and its use of whiskey—is certainly intriguing. A flavorful blend of unconventional ingredients make this dish sound delicious, and it requires fairly little preparation. Check out the chef’s note to see how you can use a crock pot for a quicker, easier version of this recipe. Some of the user comments also have great ideas for stuffings that use the same components.

Good Eats Roast Turkey

If you'e looking for something more traditional, the Food Network’s Alton Brown brings us this fairly simple (for a whole turkey) and by-the-book recipe, which uses a brine peppered with allspice berries and candied ginger. It takes about 10 hours of total cooking time, not including defrosting.

 

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