We have a friends Thanksgiving every year and I decided to smoke a turkey this year. Steven has a great looking recipe in the Big Green Egg Cookbook and there are hundreds of versions on the web. I chose to do one from Adam Perry Lang's Serious Barbecue. I had done the Turkey legs earlier this summer and they were tasty, but dark meat isn't my thing. The recipe didn't disappoint and everyone liked it.
It starts with a brine of water, salt, sugar, crushed red pepper, black peppercorns, sazon azafran(check at the Mexican market), and fresh thyme. This mixture sits at room temp over night and then strained. I guess it was sort of like making tea.
Then I rinsed the turkey, removed the giblets, and put it in a 2 1/2 gallon bag. This went in the fridge overnight.
The next afternoon when I was ready to cook I rinsed the bird and patted it dry. I let it rest and continue to dry while I got the egg pre-heated indirect to 275 and I added some pecan chunks for a little smoke flavor. Then I rubbed the bird generously with canola oil, placed it in a rack, set that in a drip pan, and set that rig on the platesetter in the egg.
This is about 2 hours in to the cook...
Once the thigh temp had come up to 165 I basted the bird with butter using a herb bundle of thyme and sage. You get more herb flavor from that than you think... or at least I did. Then I sprinkled it with a seasoning blend of garlic powder, salt, chile powder, and dried thyme.
From there it was just a matter of the thigh temp getting correct. I pulled it when the thigh was 175 and let it rest in a cooker until we were ready to eat.
I almost forgot... sorry no pics of this... I had to make gravy. Pretty straight forward... simmer the giblets all day with onions and celery. I reserved the pan drippings from the turkey as well. Then when I was ready I melted a stick of unsalted butter, and added flour to get my roux the proper consistency. Then thinned it with the stock and adding some of the drippings for color and flavor. Seasoned with salt and pepper. This was some great gravy... sort of smoky and a great turkey flavor.
Each of the other couples brought a side dish and the wife made desert. We had sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, dressing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin roll, and sweet potato pie.
I hope y'all enjoy the smoked turkey and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.