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THANKSGIVING SPECIAL : Birds of a (Different) Feather

Don’t mess with the bird. In some families, that’s the first rule of Thanksgiving. Every year, the holiday turkey is stuffed with parsley-flecked bread crumbs, rubbed down with butter and browned to Rockwellian perfection. At least, that’s the plan. Like some Zen ritual, nothing changes from one turkey to the next.

In other families, Thanksgiving is a time for kitchen science. The search is on each year for a new way to go beyond the pale. We know of turkeys that have been injected with tequila and even stuffed with other birds in the name of putting something different on the holiday table.

This year, we turned to our readers for inspiration. We asked for unusual turkey recipes, something for those among us who want more than the basic bird. The mail came streaming in and kept The Times Test Kitchen busy all summer. Donna Deane and Mayi Brady tested all sorts of turkeys, including one stuffed with yogurt and fruit. Needless to say, that one didn’t make the cut. We think you’ll like the ones that did. The chosen birds range from a low-fat soy-ginger-five-spice turkey to a Yucatan turkey wrapped in banana leaves. It’s all good eating.

The Banana Wrap

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Cookbook author Nancy Zaslavsky, who lives nearby in Venice, responded to our search with a recipe from her new book, “A Cook’s Tour of Mexico” (St. Martins Press, New York). In the Yucatan, turkey is as common as chicken, and one of the most delicious ways of cooking it there is in a back-yard pib or pit, smeared with seasoning paste and wrapped in banana leaves. Of course, a pit is not strictly necessary. We love the red tinge of the bird from the achiote paste and the tender meat that results from the banana-leaf wrap. The recipe is adapted from one Zaslavsky got from her friend Rosario Chavez, who is originally from Espita, Yucatan. Banana leaves, the herb epazote and achiote paste (made of annatto seeds and often sold in small blocks) are available in most Southern California Latino markets.

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YUCATAN TURKEY PIBIL

1 cup achiote paste

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1 tablespoon salt

1/2 cup lime juice (about 6 limes)

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons oil

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1 (10-pound) turkey, giblets removed, thawed if frozen

2 large or 3 small banana leaves, center ribs torn away

Salt, pepper

3 large white onions, sliced

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4 large tomatoes, sliced

3 sprigs fresh epazote or 6 sprigs cilantro

1 fresh habanero chile or 6 serrano chiles

Combine achiote paste, salt, lime juice, orange juice and oil in small bowl. Spread mixture over entire turkey. Line Dutch oven or roasting pan with banana leaves (leaves can hang over side), reserving enough to cover top.

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Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Wash turkey well, then pat dry and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place turkey, breast-side up, over leaves. Spread sliced onions and tomatoes over top of turkey. Scatter epazote over top. Nestle chile on top of turkey. Cover turkey with more banana leaves, tucking them in to seal. Cover pan tightly with lid or foil. Roast at 325 degrees, basting often, until nicely browned and thermometer inserted into deepest part of thigh reads 175 degrees, about 15 minutes per pound.

Remove turkey from oven and let rest, uncovered, 15 to 30 minutes. Remove and discard banana leaves and chile. Place turkey on platter. Puree cooked onions and tomatoes with hand blender in cooking juices to thicken sauce.

Makes 10 servings.

Each serving contains about:

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521 calories; 913 mg sodium; 171 mg cholesterol; 28 grams fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 56 grams protein; 0.86 gram fiber.

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TURKEY PIBIL SOUP

Bones and juices from Yucatan Turkey Pibil

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Water

Leftover meat from Yucatan Turkey Pibil, shredded, optional

6 small potatoes, cubed

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

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1/2 cup rice

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Lime wedges

Deane and Brady in The Times Test Kitchen found that of all the turkeys we tested this year, the Yucatan Turkey Pibil made the best soup. Here’s how it’s done.

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Place turkey bones and juices with water to cover in stock pot and simmer over medium-low heat 1 1/2 hours. Strain stock.

Add shredded turkey, potatoes, carrots and rice. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Serve in soup bowls, garnish with cilantro and serve with lime.

Makes about 8 servings.

Each serving contains about:

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145 calories; 413 mg sodium; 12 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 22 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.60 gram fiber.

The Asian Dip

Reader Ruth Hollis of Fountain Valley developed this Asian-inspired turkey as a way to keep the fat out of Thanksgiving. Butter lovers beware: There’s no fat in this marinade, and no basting is required. The only fat is what is in the turkey itself. What makes this recipe, we think, is the marinade. We doubled the amount originally called for, set half aside during the roasting and instead of making gravy had a tasty, no-fat dipping sauce ready to go for the finished bird.

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SOY, GINGER AND FIVE-SPICE TURKEY

6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

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2 teaspoons paprika

3 teaspoons fresh basil

2 teaspoons parsley

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

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2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder

1 (12-pound) turkey

Water

Combine soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger, paprika, basil, parsley, pepper and five-spice powder in small bowl and let stand 20 minutes to thicken.

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Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Wash turkey well, then pat dry and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 marinade over turkey, reserving other 1/2 for later use. Place turkey on rack in roaster.

Pour about 1 cup water in bottom of roaster. Prepare foil tent to cover roaster. Spray underside of tent with non-stick cooking spray, place over turkey and seal sides. Roast turkey at 325 degrees, basting often, until nicely browned and thermometer inserted into deepest part of thigh reads 180 degrees, about 15 minutes per pound.

Remove from oven, let turkey rest and serve on platter with reserved marinade as dipping sauce on side.

Makes 12 to 14 servings.

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Each of 12 servings contains about:

429 calories; 425 mg sodium; 196 mg cholesterol; 20 grams fat; 2 grams carbohydrates; 56 grams protein; 0.14 gram fiber.

Proud Picadillo

Reader Julie Miranda of Sylmar sent us this picadillo-stuffed turkey recipe, which comes from “Rice and Beans and Tasty Things: A Puerto Rican Cookbook” by Dora Romano. Some of the tasters liked the picadillo so much they completely ignored the turkey.

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PICADILLO-STUFFED TURKEY PICADILLO STUFFING

1/4 cup oil

1 1/2 pounds lean ground pork

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1 tablespoon salt

1 cup fine-chopped onion

6 pimiento-stuffed green olives

2 tablespoons capers, minced

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1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimientos with liquid

1/2 cup seedless raisins

2 cups applesauce

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

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TURKEY

2 quarts water

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vinegar

1 (12-pound) turkey

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1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup salt

Butter, softened

12 small cloves garlic, pureed

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1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground oregano

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/4 cup olive oil

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6 1/2 cups Picadillo Stuffing

Oil or melted butter

2 cups giblet stock or water

1 onion, chopped

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PICADILLO STUFFING

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork slightly and add salt. Remove to separate bowl and set aside.

Discard all but 1 tablespoon browning oil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add onion and saute 5 minutes.

Add olives, capers, pimientos and their liquid and cook 5 minutes.

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Add raisins and reserved pork. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove pan from heat. Add applesauce and eggs. Mix well. Stuffing may be made day ahead. Refrigerate or freeze if not using immediately. Do not stuff turkey until just before roasting.

TURKEY

Combine 1 quart water with 1/2 cup vinegar. Rinse turkey in vinegar mixture, drain well and soak in remaining quart water mixed with lemon juice. Drain well and pat dry.

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Loosen skin over turkey breast with fingers, starting at neck opening and moving toward tail. Be careful not to tear skin.

Rub salt into bird cavity, over skin and between skin and flesh. Put softened butter under skin covering breast.

Combine garlic, pepper, oregano, poultry seasoning and olive oil in bowl. Place bird in non-reactive container. Rub skin all over with garlic marinade and dribble with remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next day, remove bird from refrigerator 1 hour before roasting. Just before roasting, stuff bird partly through neck opening with Picadillo Stuffing. Sew shut with cotton thread or secure with skewers. Stuff bird through tail 3/4 full to allow for expansion. Sew or skewer shut.

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Truss bird. Rub turkey all over with oil or melted butter. Place turkey breast-side down on rack in roasting pan. Pour stock and chopped onion into pan.

Roast turkey at 325 degrees, basting often, until nicely browned and thermometer inserted into deepest part of thigh reads 175 degrees, about 15 minutes per pound. Halfway through, turn bird over and continue roasting. Remove from oven and let stand 30 minutes before carving.

Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Each of 12 servings contains about:

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920 calories; 3,637 mg sodium; 361 mg cholesterol; 66 grams fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 67 grams protein; 0.59 gram fiber.

Going Boneless

After hours of primping and preparation, beautifully cooked turkeys often appear at the table for only a brief “showing” to garner the annual oohs and ahhs. Then, after all that trouble, the bird is whisked back into the kitchen for the carving.

Instead, thought our summer intern Julianne Ryan, why not let the bird--and the cook--bask in their glory throughout dinner by serving a semi-boneless turkey? By deboning the turkey before stuffing and cooking, you can carry it straight from the oven to the table and leave it there, cutting slices at your pleasure without the bother of carving off the bones. Keep in mind that the stuffing expands as it cooks, so avoid the temptation to over-stuff the boneless bird, or it may burst.

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This stuffing uses apple sausage, which lends a slightly sweet flavor, along with fresh apples and chestnuts. Buy extra chestnuts for a rich gravy to compliment the meat and stuffing.

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TURKEY GALANTINE WITH CHESTNUT, APPLE AND SAUSAGE STUFFING

1 (12- to 14-pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed

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6 to 8 cups Chestnut, Apple and Sausage Stuffing, or stuffing of your choice

Turkey stock

1 cup butter, melted, for basting

Chestnut Gravy or gravy of your choice

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Wash turkey well, then pat dry. Locate wishbone in neck and remove it by scraping paring knife along bone to expose it and loosening meat around it with your thumb and forefinger.

Using poultry shears, cut along backbone on both sides from neck to tail. Remove backbone and save for stock.

Carefully remove rib cage one side at time, starting with each backbone edge, by scraping along ribs with paring knife, separating flesh from the carcass. When you arrive at ball joints of wings and thighs, cut through them to separate. Leave breastbone intact.

Lift carcass up and gently separate flesh from breastbone.

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Lay turkey on work surface skin-side down and locate ball joint of one thigh bone. Scrape flesh away from bone with back of your knife, pushing it down until you reach knee joint. Cut away tendons joining knee joint and continue scraping meat away from bone with knife until you reach tip of leg. Repeat on other leg. Use cleaver to cut drumstick just before tip, leaving tip and skin intact.

(Turkey can be prepared to this point 1 day in advance, then wrapped and refrigerated. You can also ask your butcher to bone turkey for you. Ask butcher to leave tips of legs intact and to give you bones for stock.)

Just before cooking, stuff turkey: Lay turkey skin-side down on work surface, opened like a book. Spoon stuffing loosely into legs and then spoon remainder down middle of turkey. Bring edges up to form into something like original shape. Before cooking, bird will look slightly under-stuffed. Stuffing will expand during cooking, and overstuffing could cause the skin to burst.

Use skewers or bamboo sticks to join edges of flesh where backbone had been. Secure both ends with skewers and tuck wings under. Truss turkey as you would a roast.

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Place extra stuffing in covered casserole dish, drizzle with little stock and butter and roast for about 1 1/2 hours with turkey.

Brush turkey all over with melted butter and set breast-side up on rack in roasting pan. Roast at 325 degrees, basting with butter or pan juices every 30 minutes. If turkey begins to brown too quickly, tent loosely with foil. Check for doneness by inserting thermometer into center of stuffing. Thermometer should register 175 degrees, about 15 minutes per pound. Allow turkey to cool slightly before carving so that stuffing firms.

While turkey is cooling, make gravy, then serve.

Makes 12 to 14 servings.

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Each of 12 servings, with stuffing and gravy, contains about:

861 calories; 1,455 mg sodium; 289 mg cholesterol; 52 grams fat; 29 grams carbohydrates; 63 grams protein; 0.76 gram fiber.

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CHESTNUT, APPLE AND SAUSAGE STUFFING

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5 cups lightly packed fresh bread cubes (about 10 slices day-old white bread)

2 teaspoons dried sage leaves

2 teaspoons salt

Butter

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1 pound chicken and apple sausages

1 onion, chopped

6 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

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1 green apple, cored and diced

1 pound chestnuts, shelled, skins removed and chopped

2 eggs, beaten

Slice crusts off bread and cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Spread on jellyroll pan and toast in 375-degree oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes.

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Toss toasted bread cubes with sage and salt in mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1/2 cup melted butter and set aside.

Remove sausage from casings and break apart. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in large saute pan, add sausage and brown, breaking up in pan. Remove sausage. In same pan, saute onion, bacon and celery in same fat until onions are soft.

Add sausage, onion mixture, apple and chestnuts to bread cubes and toss well to mix. Stir in beaten eggs.

Makes 8 cups stuffing, about 16 servings.

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Each serving contains about:

263 calories; 792 mg sodium; 65 mg cholesterol; 15 grams fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 0.57 gram fiber.

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CHESTNUT GRAVY

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1/4 cup fat from turkey roasting pan

1/2 cup brandy

3 1/2 cups turkey stock, made from giblets and bones

1/4 cup flour

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2 tablespoons butter

1/4 pound chestnuts, shelled, peeled and chopped

Salt

After removing turkey from oven, pour fat from roasting pan, saving 1/4 cup. Place roasting pan over medium heat and pour in brandy and 1/2 cup stock. Cook, scraping any brown sticky bits from bottom of pan. Reserve.

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Heat reserved fat in saucepan over low heat and whisk in flour, stirring, to make light brown roux. Whisk in remaining hot stock, simmer and stir until thick and all raw taste of flour is gone, about 10 minutes.

Add deglazing liquid to pan, continuing to simmer and reduce gravy to desired consistency. Whisk in butter at the end, stir in chopped chestnuts and season to taste with salt.

Makes 1 quart gravy.

Each 1-tablespoon serving contains about:

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22 calories; 51 mg sodium; 3 mg cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 protein; 0.07 gram fiber.

Hot Tamale

This simple, clever recipe comes from Barbara Lee of Glendora. In effect, it’s a corn bread stuffing combined with a spicy sausage-type stuffing, and you don’t actually have to make either one. The drippings produce a particularly flavorful gravy.

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TAMALE TURKEY TURKEY

1 (10-pound) turkey

Salt, pepper

4 tamales, mild, hot or combination

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CUMIN-GARLIC BUTTER

3 to 4 tablespoons butter

3 cloves garlic

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1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

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TURKEY

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Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Wash turkey well, then pat dry and season inside and out with salt and pepper.

Remove tamales from corn husk wrappers and break into several pieces. Insert into turkey cavity as stuffing.

Roast turkey at 325 degrees, basting often, until nicely browned and thermometer inserted into deepest part of thigh reads 180 degrees, about 15 minutes per pound. Every 30 minutes baste with Cumin-Garlic Butter.

When turkey is done, remove from oven and let rest 30 minutes before serving.

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CUMIN-GARLIC BUTTER

Melt butter in small pan and remove from heat. Crush garlic into butter. Stir in salt and cumin.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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Each of 10 servings contains about:

745 calories; 1,205 mg sodium; 240 mg cholesterol; 42 grams fat; 19 grams carbohydrates; 61 grams protein; 2.85 grams fiber.

Underwater Turkey

Turkey doesn’t have to be roasted. Cooking it in liquid actually solves the problem of dry meat; to get browned skin, you just stick it in the oven for a while at the end. This recipe, with its aromatic Near Eastern stuffing, comes from “Food From the Arab World” by Marie Khayat and Miriam Keatinge.

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LEBANESE POACHED TURKEY

LAMB STUFFING 1/2 cup butter

4 cups ground lamb

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2 cups rice

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup blanched almonds

1/2 cup pistachios

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2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup water

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TURKEY 1 (12-pound) turkey

Water

Salt

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1/4 cup butter, melted

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LAMB STUFFING

Melt butter in skillet. Add lamb and saute until browned. Add rice, pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, salt, pepper, cinnamon and water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

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TURKEY

Stuff body cavity with Lamb Stuffing; reserve excess for another use or roast along with bird. Sew turkey openings tightly closed with heavy kitchen thread. Place bird in large pot, add water to barely cover. Season to taste with salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, then reduce to simmer. Skim fat. Simmer gently until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat reads 160 degrees, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Lift turkey carefully from pot and place in shallow roasting pan. Brush with melted butter and roast at 425 degrees until browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

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Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Each of 12 servings contains about:

775 calories; 773 mg sodium; 255 mg cholesterol; 43 grams fat; 25 grams carbohydrates; 70 grams protein; 0.29 gram fiber.

Jamaican Bird

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Reader Kathleen Frankeny of Lake Forest suggested that we try adapting a jerk chicken recipe once printed in The Times to turkey. We did and we liked the results.

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JERK TURKEY

JERK SAUCE 1/4 cup Caribbean hot sauce (habanero or Scotch bonnet)

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2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons dried basil leaves

2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves

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2 tablespoons mustard seeds

4 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

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Juice of 2 limes

2 tablespoons orange juice

Vinegar

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TURKEY

1 (10- to 12-pound) turkey

Salt, pepper

2 large onions

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JERK SAUCE Combine hot sauce, rosemary, parsley, basil, thyme, mustard seeds, green onions, salt, pepper, lime and orange juices and 2 tablespoons vinegar in blender or food processor and blend to consistency of thick tomato sauce. If too thick, thin with vinegar.

Cover sauce and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to 2 weeks.

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TURKEY

Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Wash turkey well, then pat dry and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Chop onions into large chunks and insert into cavity.

Pull skin over neck and secure with skewer. Fold wings behind back and tie legs and tail together with kitchen twine. Rub turkey with Jerk Sauce.

Insert meat thermometer into center of thickest part of thigh but not touching bone. Roast at 325 degrees, basting often, until browned and thermometer reads 175 degrees, about 15 minutes per pound.

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Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Each of 10 servings contains about:

529 calories; 531 mg sodium; 235 mg cholesterol; 25 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 68 grams protein; 0.61 gram fiber.

In a Garlic Haze

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This recipe from Los Angeles’ Jan Ricca was one of the staff’s favorites, particularly because of the roasted onions and garlic. Think of the famous French dish of chicken with 40 cloves of garlic and then multiply it to turkey-size. You’ll be grateful you got a big bird.

That’s no coincidence. Ricca says the recipe came about when she “defrosted a bird I had bought at Easter and had some friends over. I did something I had only done with chickens before--but on a larger scale. The results were fabulous. The skin was nice and dark and was eaten before the bird even made it over to the table.”

ROAST TURKEY WITH GARLIC, MAUI ONIONS AND LEMONS

1 (14- to 15-pound) turkey

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Salt, pepper

5 to 6 Maui onions, cut into large chunks

6 heads garlic, separated into cloves but not peeled

2 large bunches fresh rosemary

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5 to 6 lemons, cut in half

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup olive oil

Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Wash turkey well, then pat dry and season inside and out with salt and pepper.

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Fill body cavity with 4 onions, 5 heads garlic, 1 1/2 bunches rosemary, 4 lemons and salt and pepper.

Place turkey in roasting pan, truss legs and surround with remaining onions, garlic, rosemary and lemons. Rub turkey with butter and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables in pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast turkey at 325 degrees, basting often, until nicely browned and thermometer inserted into deepest part of thigh reads 175 degrees, 15 minutes per pound.

Makes 14 to 16 servings.

Each of 14 servings contains about:

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514 calories; 243 mg sodium; 202 mg cholesterol; 28 grams fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 56 grams protein; 0.64 gram fiber.

A Little Wine

This is essentially a very basic turkey recipe spruced up with a red wine sauce. We imagine it’s just the thing for a certain kind of bachelor gourmet Thanksgiving meal. The recipe comes from chef Jon Hill at The Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Ariz. You can, of course, substitute any other dry red wine for the Merlot.

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ROAST TURKEY WITH MERLOT GRAVY

1 (14- to 15-pound) turkey

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

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1 cup water

1 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon lemon juice

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1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry red wine, preferably Merlot

Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Wash turkey well, then pat dry and season inside and out with salt and pepper.

Rub turkey with butter and place on rack in roasting pan. Roast at 400 degrees 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325. Add water to pan. Roast, basting every 15 minutes, until until nicely browned and thermometer inserted into deepest part of thigh reads 175 degrees, 15 minutes per pound. Keep turkey warm under foil while making gravy.

Skim fat from juices in roasting pan and reserve 1/4 cup of fat. Deglaze pan with wine, bringing to boil and scraping bottom of pan to remove any sticky brown bits.

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In saucepan whisk together fat and flour and cook over moderately low heat 3 minutes. Add wine, slowly whisking, and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste and serve along side turkey.

Makes 14 to 16 servings.

Each of 14 servings contains about:

486 calories; 264 mg sodium; 202 mg cholesterol; 23 grams fat; 2 grams carbohydrates; 56 grams protein; 0 fiber.

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Big Red

You wouldn’t want to call turkey bland, but it does have a flavor that adapts well to different ingredients. Times Test Kitchen assistant Brady was in an Indian mood when she created this turkey recipe. The real trick is drizzling the bird with a little lime juice before serving. It’s great when served with a garlicky raita of yogurt and cucumbers.

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BIG RED TURKEY

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BASMATI AND LENTIL STUFFING

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons butter

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1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

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1 cup lentils

1 cup basmati rice

3 cups water

1/2 cup raisins

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1/2 cup chopped pistachios

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TANDOORI TURKEY

1 (12-pound) turkey

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Salt and pepper

3/4 cup bottled tandoori paste

3/4 cup plain yogurt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

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1 teaspoon chili powder

4 cloves garlic, minced

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BASMATI AND LENTIL STUFFING

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In skillet, cook onion and garlic in butter until soft. Add cumin, turmeric, coriander and salt. Cook another 5 minutes and set aside.

Cook lentils and rice in water 15 minutes. Add onion/garlic mixture to rice and lentils and cook 10 more minutes. Stir in raisins and pistachios. Set aside to cool. Use to stuff body cavity and neck cavity of bird.

* TANDOORI TURKEY

Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Wash turkey well, then pat dry and season inside and out with salt and pepper.

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Spoon stuffing into turkey neck and body cavities. In large mixing bowl, combine tandoori paste, yogurt, cumin, chili powder and garlic until smooth. Spread 1/4 of mixture under turkey skin, then spread remainder over turkey, saving little to baste turkey with.

Place on roasting rack in pan and roast at 325 degrees, basting often, until nicely browned and thermometer inserted into deepest part of thigh reads 175 degrees, about 15 minutes per pound.

Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Each of 12 servings contains about:

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630 calories; 1,030 mg sodium; 200 mg cholesterol; 26 grams fat; 33 grams carbohydrates; 63 grams protein; 2.22 grams fiber.

Kitchen Tip

To make a turkey galantine you must first remove the bones from the turkey. It’s not as difficult as it might seem.

1. Using poultry shears, cut along the backbone on both sides of the turkey from neck to tail.

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2. Remove the backbone and save for stock.

3. Carefully remove the rib cage, one side at a time, starting with each backbone edge, by scraping along the ribs with a paring knife, separating flesh from the carcass.

4. Lay turkey on work surface skin-side down and locate ball joint of one thigh bone. Scrape flesh away from bone with back of the knife, pushing it down until you reach the knee joint. Cut away the tendons joining the knee joint and continue scraping meat away from the bone with the knife until you reach tip of leg.

5. Lift carcass up and gently separate flesh from breastbone.

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6. Lay turkey skin-side down on the work surface, opened like a book. Spoon stuffing loosely into the legs, then spoon the remainder down middle of turkey.

7. Bring edges up to form something like original shape. Before cooking, bird will look slightly under-stuffed. Stuffing will expand during cooking; overstuffing could cause the skin to burst.

8. Truss turkey as you would a roast. Brush turkey all over with melted butter and set breast-side up on rack in roasting pan.


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