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Turkey Tricks! Shaking things up for Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted by Stacey on 11/14/2012 to Mom Madness

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and, if you are like me, you are already pondering over turkey dinner. Thanksgiving is not really what I would call a "holiday". While I give thanks and truly think about all of my blessings, I also work my butt off in the kitchen preparing the infamous turkey dinner (kind of boring). This year I want to shake things up a little bit and I think I'm up for a challenge. Turkey "Surprise" anyone? Click here to get the skinny on some alternate turkey preparation methods courtesy of

These are a good start but we want to hear from you! Share your own turkey cooking method or trick for getting that perfectly roasted bird? Comment below - we will select some of the most unique recipes/ideas and post them on facebook this Sunday!


Turducken is as close as you can get to a legendary dish. Many people talk about this delicious three-poultry dish every time Thanksgiving or Christmas is just around the corner. Some think it's the next best thing since sliced bread, and still others think that its a heart attack on a silver platter. Cooking turducken may seem complicated, but it is rather easy. Here are a few things to remember when preparing and cooking turducken:

1.Have a butcher or poultry dealer remove the bones from the duck and the chicken. Deboned poultry has a faster cooking time, and the heat gets through the birds more evenly.

2.Turkey is a tricky bird to cook, because of the texture and consistency of the meat. Make sure to stick a meat thermometer on the thickest part of the bundled and stuffed turkey, which is the breast area.

Turducken can be a total disaster if you don't sew up the birds properly. Use strong twine to properly secure the stuffed bird. You may need some help to tie up the birds together strongly and securely.

Chinese Steamed Turkey

Steamed spring chicken is a very popular and significant dish among the Chinese. The chicken is steamed with a light and flavorful stock made from water, soy sauce, Chinese wine vinegar, and aromatic vegetables like garlic, ginger, leeks, and onions. The chicken is then served warm, and dipped in sauce. Often the stock is used as a dip because of the wonderful flavors infused in it.

You can make the same flavorful recipe with turkey, although you need to modify the cooking methods a bit to cook such a large bird. Here are some important tips to remember when cooking steamed Chinese-style turkey:

1.Use a large steamer basket big and strong enough to accommodate and hold the weight of the turkey. Giant bamboo steamers are readily available from kitchen supply stores.

2.Turkey takes a long time to cook. Steaming is a long process that tenderizes the meat and preserves its juices, and it may take hours for your turkey to cook thoroughly and absorb the flavors of the aromatics. One way to get around this problem is to pierce or cut the turkey before steaming it.

3.Unlike chicken, turkey has a very strong flavor. To round out the flavor of the turkey, use more aromatic ingredients with strong flavors like ginger. You can also add an exotic dimension to the dish by using red ginseng root.

Deep Fried Turkey

Like turducken, deep-fried turkey is a dish that everyone talks about. If you can fry duck legs or make fried chicken, then you can definitely do the same thing for turkey. Deep-fried turkey combines the delectable and juicy flavor of turkey with the crisp texture of deep-fried goodness. Like any deep-fried dish, it's easy to ruin deep-fried turkey just as its easy to cook it. Here are some ways to make the best deep-fried turkey on your side of the neighborhood:

1.Never deep-fry a turkey indoors. Turkey is a very heavy bird, and hot oil can splatter all over the place. Use a suitable deep-frying basket for an outdoor fryer to hold the turkey.

2.Turkey meat is delicious on it's own, but you can add extra flavors to the turkey meat using a flavor injector. Flavor injectors are giant syringe-like pieces of equipment that can be used to flavor the meat from the inside.

3.To get that crisp exterior while keeping the meat juicy and delectable, fry the turkey in cooking oil at 350 degrees for three and a half minutes for every pound. You'll be amazed that a 15-pound turkey will take less than an hour to cook. Make sure to allow the turkey to rest before carving it to prevent the juices from leaking and drying out the turkey meat.

Peking Style Turkey

Peking duck is a traditional Chinese dish that incorporates traditional Chinese ingredients and cooking methods. The dish is particularly enjoyed for it's sweet crispy skin and juicy, delectable meat. The same age-old classic method can be used for other poultry items, and works especially good for turkey. Chinese cooking cookbooks and recipes on the Internet have traditional and modern methods on how to prepare whole turkey Peking style.

This is a good start but we want to hear from you! Share your own turkey cooking method or trick for getting that perfectly roasted bird? Comment here - we will select some of the most unique recipes/ideas and post them on facebook this Sunday!