Merry Christmas Everyone

I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas, and your Festive Fowl was lovely and juicy?

I was so chuffed with my turkey cooked on my new smoker. I’d planned and planned to make sure I could get it as right as I possibly could.

I missed the moment our turkey met it’s maker, I was away working at that time. However I was able to do the deed and gut the bird and prepare it for cooking which was an experience.

If you are squeamish you may want to look away now……….

I was able to get my hands on a wonderful turkey from my friends at Pitmans Farm the small holders over the road, so I knew it had a good provenience.

I kept the neck and heart for the stock for gravy. It felt good to have been able to get hands on with our Christmas meat, and knowing that i’d be feeding my family a good quality bird.

So down to the preparation. I made an injection brine with 300ml water, 2 tsps sugar, 2 tsps sea salt, and injected this strategically in the breast and legs the night before.

Then starting the smoker going at 8am, I injected 100g of melted butter into the breast, and rubbed a dry rub mix of Za’atar (an Israeli blend of hyssop and other herbs and spices) mustard powder, smoked paprika, celery powder, onion powder, and a little muscovado sugar, ground black pepper and sea salt. I rubbed this all over and then drizzled olive oil over the breast and legs, before covering the leg and wing ends with foil to stop them burning.

I popped the bird on the smoker with a bowl of water underneath with the neck and heart of the turkey, some chopped carrots, celery and onion, some bay leaves, water and a pint of home made cider (this would give me the stock for a wonderful gravy).

I smoked at around 300degF (the hottest I could get my smoker and used a mixture of apple and oak woods to smoke with. The internal temperature of the turkey rose steadily throughout the morning, taking 4 hours to reach 160degF, where I removed it from the smoker to rest, continuing to monitor the internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast and saw it rise to 165degF, perfectly cooked.

This temperature ensures any nasties are destroyed and the breast meat is still moist.

After parading the whole bird around to the family, I broke the bird down into leg and breast, and carved the breast meat at the table against the grain.

Served with all the usual trimmings, goose fat potatoes, roast parsnips, lightly steamed sprouts and carrots, red cabbage, pigs in blankets, 2 sorts of stuffing, cranberry sauce, and lashings of turkey stock gravy.

The highlight was definately the turkey, which everyone really enjoyed, it was moist, slightly smokey, herby and moreish, a meal I was proud to serve for 11 hungry people.

I must say that cooking turkey in a smoker is great as it tastes unlike any turkey I’ve had before, and frees up a lot of space in the oven to allow the rest of the food to cook properly.

Merry Christmas to you all, and hope you have had a wonderful day.

10 responses to this post.

  1. What a great way to do a turkey – I’m impressed!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jimmy Edwards on December 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    You obviously enjoy your food! Great recipes. Thanks for sharing. Where do you work?

    Reply

  3. Best holiday that turkey ever had. 🙂

    Reply

  4. wow, smoking the turkey, that must have tasted amazing! and it looks so grand sitting up there on the grill.. glad you had a great day! c

    Reply

    • Thanks cecilia, it was delicious, and everyone really enjoyed it, a bonus was that it took a lot of the stress out of the cooking, which makes for a nice relaxed chef…..well it was that or the numerous glasses of port
      hope you have had a lovely christmas
      cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

  5. Cracking article Marcus. Thanks a lot for this mate and hope you had a brilliant Christmas.

    Reply

    • Thanks Richard, Glad you had Christmas at home. We had a wonderful day, if you are fortunate enough to be at home you’ve got to make the most of it. Have a great New Year.
      Cheers
      Marcus

      Reply

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