Alternative methods for your Thanksgiving bird

Alternative methods for your Thanksgiving bird

Written by: Julia Perla Huisman
November 15, 2018


The Thanksgiving meal is the most consistent of all the holiday meals. Every year it’s the same thing: cranberries, mashed potatoes, and turkey cooked with stuffing (or “dressing,” depending on which side of that argument you stand). Is this consistency a result of tradition or habit? Probably a combination of both. 

There are ways to mix things up a bit while also keeping turkey as the main course. We asked Lamar Moore, chef at ArtHouse in Gary and chef partner at the Swill Inn in Chicago, for some variations on the beloved American staple.  

Ever the creative, Moore relished the idea of dreaming up alternative turkey recipes. “When I think of different ways of cooking turkey, so many things come to mind,” Moore says. In the end, he settled on two, which he shares with us below. 

This year, consider branching out and trying one of the following methods to shake up your Thanksgiving meal. In a good way. 

DEEP FRIED TURKEY
This turkey is brined in hot sauce, buttermilk and Cajun spices for a minimum of 8 hours (do not exceed 24 hours).  

  1. 1. After brining, drain from liquid.  
  2. 2. I make a spiced flour using equal parts rice flour and all-purpose flour, seasoned with more Cajun spice and a bit of cornstarch for extra crispness.  
  3. 3. Cover turkey with flour and cook in peanut oil (or vegetable oil if you have a peanut allergy).  
  4. 4. Bake at 375 degrees until GBD—Golden Brown and Delicious.  

 

PAN-SEARED TURKEY
This turkey is jerk rubbed, marinated for 4 hours, and then seared.  

  1. 1. In a cast iron pan, cook it skin side down for 6 minutes, then flip and cook another 6 minutes. I prefer the cast iron skillet for a great sear and crispy skin. It also retains moisture on the turkey. 
  2. 2. Finish cooking it in the oven at 350 degrees until cooked through. 
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf

DEEP FRIED TURKEY
This turkey is brined in hot sauce, buttermilk and Cajun spices for a minimum of 8 hours (do not exceed 24 hours).  

  1. 1. After brining, drain from liquid.  
  2. 2. I make a spiced flour using equal parts rice flour and all-purpose flour, seasoned with more Cajun spice and a bit of cornstarch for extra crispness.  
  3. 3. Cover turkey with flour and cook in peanut oil (or vegetable oil if you have a peanut allergy).  
  4. 4. Bake at 375 degrees until GBD—Golden Brown and Delicious.  

 

PAN-SEARED TURKEY
This turkey is jerk rubbed, marinated for 4 hours, and then seared.  

  1. 1. In a cast iron pan, cook it skin side down for 6 minutes, then flip and cook another 6 minutes. I prefer the cast iron skillet for a great sear and crispy skin. It also retains moisture on the turkey. 
  2. 2. Finish cooking it in the oven at 350 degrees until cooked through. 
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf