Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Whole Turkey & Boudin

Yesterday I did a whole young turkey. No not a holiday, just a mistake! I had a recipe from Saveur for turkey breast stuffed with Boudin & had some of my Boudin vacuum sealed & frozen I wanted to use. My Boudin turned out more the texture of pate instead of sausage since I used a grinder to stuff it. This would be a good use for it. I looked all over for a fresh 4 to 5 lb turkey breast, boneless w/skin. I could not find any, just frozen. In among the frozen breasts were two Butterballs that said no hormones, one 3 + lbs & one 7+ lbs. I picked the 7 lb one, & placed it in the fridge to thaw. I left it in the grocery bag to keep any juices in as it thawed. Monday I put the Boudin in the fridge to thaw. Yesterday I got up at 5 am to debone the breast & get it ready to smoke. Here I had a 7 lb whole young turkey, I better look at those labels closer! I have watched videos on deboning a whole turkey but I didn’t want to tackle that. I decided to do the whole bird.

I cleaned & dried the bird & back in the fridge to dry until ready to smoke. At 11:15 I got the bird out to prepare & started the smoker. I had some Florida pepper blend from Penzey’s I wanted to try. It’s a blend of pepper, citric acid, orange peel, lemon peel, onion & garlic, perfect for poultry. I made some sage, garlic, butter, separated the breast skin & rubbed in some of the seasoned butter, then secured the skin w/2 toothpicks. I seasoned the cavity w/the pepper, inserted ½ lemon, 1 bunch of fresh sage leaves & 4 smashed garlic cloves, rubbed on some olive oil & seasoned well with the pepper. I preheated the smoker to 300 deg, turned back to smoke mode, & at 12:00 placed the turkey directly on the grill & added the Boudin to smoke. The Traeger settled in at 170 to 180 deg. I needed to mow the lawn while I was doing the turkey. It was a hot, 85 deg & humid day. Felt like 90 deg. I would have rather sat there sipping on a cold one & watch the smoker but with all the rain you have to mow when you have a chance. After an hr. I inserted a temp probe in the turkey & one in the Boudin, basted the turkey w/ the seasoned butter & went back to my mowing. Another ½ hr. the Boudin was done so pulled it & inserted the temp probe in the turkey leg , the other probe was in the breast. Turned the smoker to 250 deg. At the 2 hr mark I pulled the turkey neck, I had it & some of the Boudin for a snack. At about 3 hrs. the turkey was at 150 deg so placed it on a rack & placed in a foil pan, added about a quart of chicken broth. I upped the smoker to 300 deg. & basted the turkey w/more seasoned butter. Another half hr. the turkey was at 165 deg so turned smoker up to 375 deg. to finish off. In just over 4 hrs. the breast was at 175 & leg & thighs were at 180 deg. so pulled & let rest for 15 min. before carving. I had part of a wing to taste & skin was good. I sliced 2 slices from each breast for our supper later. After cooling some covered w/saran wrap & in the fridge.

For our supper I fixed the gravy packet that came w/the turkey. Fixed some rice, & sautéed some onion, green pepper, & garlic in olive oil to add to the rice. My wife had the turkey breast, & rice w/gravy over top and some corn relish. I had the same but added some Boudin w/gravy. All tasted pretty good, my wife did not eat the skin but I did. The gravy was not as good as home made but it was quick & easy. The skin would have been crisper if eaten after it was done. I find it hard to reheat any poultry & get good eatable skin. I forgot to add, usually I would brine a turkey but this one was enhanced so omited that step & did not add any salt.

This was my first whole turkey on my Traeger & was pleased with the result. I used one of my friend Billy Merril’s recipes from forum for an idea on the cooking times & temps. I think I did do a whole turkey once on one of my water smokers but don’t remember how it turned out. Now maybe I will do one for Thanksgiving this yr., weather permitting.

The mistaken breast!

Seasoned & ready, I did add more pepper after the photo.

Turkey & Boudin on the smoker.

Smoked Boudin

On the rack in foil pan

Done bird

So purdy had to show another view!

My plated supper.

Smokin Don

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