This heritage turkey was injected with a roasted garlic-herbed brown butter. Vacuum sealed with a smoked chicken carcass stock. 5hr sous vide at 150°F. The liquids were set aside for a browned gravy, while the turkey was patted dry and rested uncovered in the cooler for 45 minutes to tighten up the skin. The bird was brushed in olive oil and finished with a cajun spiced-brown sugar and granulated honey rub. Placed in the smoker, fueled by a smoldering inferno of cherry and hickory wood. So tender, so much flavor!! Served best alongside family, friends and gentle warmth of the holiday season. -Cheers and many blessings, David
Special note: While this turkey was absolutely delicious, after further consideration, in the future I will spatchcock all birds when using sous vide method. Leaving whole is impossible to secure an entirely snug vacuum, defeating in-part the intent of sealed water cooking.
Sous Vide, Cajun-Spiced and Smoked Holiday Turkey
- 1 12-15 pound fresh whole turkey, trimmed and giblets removed
- 1 cup browned butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons Italian seasoning, pulsed into a powder
- 2 tablespoons roasted granulated garlic, separated
- 4 tablespoons Chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
- Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for basting
- 4 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, homemade or store-bought
- 2 tablespoons granulated honey
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- Assorted fresh herbs, to garnish
- Whisk togehter the melted browned butter, Italian seasoning powder, 1 tablespoon garlic and kosher salt. Inject all portions of the turkey with herbed-brown butter concoction.7 hours before serving: In an vacuum-packed plastic bag add turkey (with smooth side of bag positioned breast-side), olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and chicken stock. Extract air entirely from the bag, seal and submerge in a 5 gallon container of water with the sous vide machine turned to 150F for 5 hours.Remove bird 90 minutes prior to serving from the water bath. Slice open the bag and carefully place bird on a large cooling rack. Pat the turkey skin entirely dry and set on a jelly roll pan equipped with a cooling rack. Place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to allow the skin to tighten up. Discard the bag. Liquid contents can be reserved to create a phenomenal gravy, or discarded.Rub the turkey in olive oil and liberally season every portion of the winged beast with salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic, honey granules and dried parsley.Preheat grill to medium-high heat (approx. 450F), using the 2-zone cooking method (see notes below). Toss a handful of cherry and hickory wood chips directly upon the smoldering coals (or, if using gas, place wood chips in a perforated tin foil packet placed in back corner of the directly heated grill grates). When billowing smoke thins and turns blueish in hue, the grill is ready.Rest turkey over the cooler indirect heat grill grates, positioned upon it's back with head of the bird facing away from the hottest direct heat grill grates. Baste the bird intermittently with olive oil, until internal temperature in the thickest, inner most portion of the thigh reads 160F. Remove bird from the grill and loosely tent with tin foil. Rest the bird for 15-20 minutes before carving, allowing the bird’s denatured proteins to relax and reabsorb their juices, while carry-over cooking elevates the bird to it's proper serving temperature of 165F. Dress the bird with a bouquet of fresh herbs. Present the bird with a stuffing that was prepared outside of the bird’s cavity. Carve the turkey tableside and serve.