The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Thanksgiving

Thu Nov 15, 2018

Rotisserie Turkey

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Rotisserie Turkey

It should come as no shocker that I like playing host. While my Meatwaves serve as my primary outlet to fulfill that desire, it's always been a little hard to deal with the fact that I could never truly transfer my hosting skills to larger family gatherings at holidays. This was originally due to very limited indoor space in my old Astoria apartment, and then was a problem of my own making when I moved to North Carolina, resulting in isolation from my extended family. For the first time though, this Thanksgiving is different. Family from New York, Virginia, and Texas are all descending upon Durham to partake in our largest holiday feast yet. I originally had a lot of excitement about this development, but that was followed by the realization of the complications it creates when cooking for a crowd when all the food needs to be done at the same time. This will render my oven space inadequate and will force me to consider other means cooking, which is really no problem at my house since I have a couple grills and smokers on hand. Moving in that direction made me consider reviving this rotisserie turkey recipe I made almost eight years ago and never shared on the blog mainly because I didn't feel the photos were up to snuff to my standards. So you'll have to pardon the less than ideal images and know this was a turkey so great that I feel it's a worthy contender to create a best in show bird for my forthcoming large family meal.

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Tue Nov 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers

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Thanksgiving Turkey Burger

Last year I took my inevitable Thanksgiving leftovers and pressed them into an incredible panini. Between those two toasted, crusty pieces of bread, the flavors of roast turkey, sugary-tart cranberry sauce, sweet and savory cornbread stuffing, and rich gravy combined into a killer sandwich that captured all the comforts of the holiday in one bite. I thought that for those looking for a smaller scale Thanksgiving meal, this would be a perfect flavor-packed substitute. But it would also require cooking each ingredient separately—not very practical. So it left me thinking—how could you capture a similar experience with days of work? That answer: Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers.

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Tue Nov 17, 2015

Grilled Spatchcocked Turkey

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Grilled Spatchcocked Turkey

At this point I feel like I've done turkey every which way over the flames. I've slow smoked birds, flavor-brined them, rubbed them in an herb butter, done them up beer-can style, cajun-style, stuffed turkey breasts with cranberries, wrapped them in bacon, turned them into burgers, and more. It seemed like I was reaching a turkey saturation point...I'd managed to exhaust almost all backyard grilling options except one: spatchcocking.

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Tue Nov 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Leftover Panini

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Thanksgiving Leftover Panini

Leftovers aren't my thing. While I watch a barrage of Facebook friends post their Thanksgiving meals eaten again and again in the days following the holiday, I can usual stomach those reheated, suboptimal pieces of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce maybe once, preferably never. Feeding a family of only six, an assload (it's a technical term) of leftovers is a reality though, so I'm in search of ways to transform them into something I would want to eat in order to avoid what shouldn't be inevitable waste. I've found as least one answer to this problem by way of a Thanksgiving leftover panini.

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Tue Nov 18, 2014

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast With Cornbread Stuffing

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It's Not You, It's Meat

The first Thanksgiving my wife (then girlfriend) spent with my family, her mother asked if she could send us a holiday ham as a gift. My wife was left explaining that it might not be most appropriate present for a Jewish family, thus beginning the tradition of a lovely in-law-provided floral centerpiece on our Thanksgiving table.

Oh, how I wished things went differently, though.

I have an insatiable appetite for ham, and knowing that those flowers could have just as easily been a beautiful, sweet city ham gnaws at me each successive holiday. We've long since given up keeping kosher and I've been waiting for the right time to introduce the idea of a ham instead of a bird. Well, it turned out that last year was finally when it happened. The only problem? The murmur of an absentee turkey didn't elate everyone to the same degree, so I was left trying to find the right scaled-down version of turkey to satisfy everyone at the table.

Given the circumstances, a bacon-wrapped stuffed turkey breast may seem a little counterintuitive, but it hit a lot of the right notes—it was small, brought in the cornbread stuffing that was also going to to go missing, and was pretty much guaranteed to be delicious, and I wasn't left disappointed.

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