Bird is the word this time of year, and by bird we mean turkey. Originally a staple of the Native American diet, turkey was introduced to pilgrim settlers by the Native American Wampanoag tribe.
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, becoming an official holiday in the United States on October 3, 1863 by a proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Thanks to the efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Magazine who had lobbied for 17 years for the holiday. The proclamation declared the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
Now that you’ve gotten a short history lesson, let’s get on to the 10 Ways to Cook a Turkey! Some are traditional and some are downright strange.
#10 Crock-Pot Turkey
You’ll need a crock-pot large enough to house a whole turkey, and the end result won’t be a picture-esque golden bird - but reports say that it’s an easy process with a tender and moist end result.
#9 Grilled Turkey
For those of you already missing the traditional grilling days of summer, grilling your turkey is an option to re-live those sun-baked days, or to assert your grill-master abilities for the whole family.
#8 Deep-Fried Turkey
One of the newer “Thanksgiving-trends”, the deep-fried turkey is still reigning in popularity (and the cause of many 3rd degree burns and grease fires on Thanksgiving – so be careful!). If you’re looking to impress the in-laws with your Turkey cookin’ abilities, this may be the answer (everyone likes fried food, right?)
#7 Bacon-Wrapped Turkey
Need we say more. Bacon + Anything = Awesome.
It’s a chicken wrapped in a duck wrapped in a turkey. Nothing compares to showing up your family rival like excess (that is, unless you wrap a turkey in bacon). Junior Hebert claims to have invented the turducken with his brother Sammy at their butcher shop in Maurice, Louisiana, five miles south of Lafayette, in 1984.
#5 Beer Brined Turkey
If you like beer, and you like turkey – this is your answer. But, if you’ve never used a brine before, you might want to practice before unleashing this recipe on your family. (Hint: Don’t drink and brine)
#4 Smoked Turkey
You need a smoker, wood chips, time and patience – and you need to like the taste of smoked meats. We wouldn’t suggest going at this “cold turkey” (especially if you have a lot of guests coming to your Thanksgiving table).
#3 Sun-Tanned Turkey
#2 Orange – Bourbon Turkey
Looking to make this Thanksgiving a little “wild?” Try your turkey with a side of bourbon.
#1 The Classic Thanksgiving Turkey (roasted)
The traditional choice. The old standby. The bird as you know it – The Classic Thanksgiving Turkey