Wing it this Thanksgiving with Citrus Herb Butter Grilled Turkey
Why do birds suddenly appear every time the end of November draws near? Tradition dictates a turkey on every table, that’s why. But food blogger, cookbook author and frequent inRegister contributor Leigh Ann Chatagnier of mydiaryofus.com says it’s possible to go beyond the basic and boring in preparing this year’s formerly feathered feast.
Chatagnier suggests deviating just a little from tradition by preparing the Thanksgiving turkey on the grill instead of the oven, then finishing it with homemade herbed citrus butter.
“I know a roasted turkey is usually on everyone’s menu plan, but this method frees up oven space and gets the turkey ready from start to finish in under an hour,” says Chatagnier. “It’s so full of flavor and makes for a stunning presentation.”
Chatagnier cuts down on cooking time by buying only turkey breasts and legs instead of the whole bird. If you’re partial to the wings or thighs, she suggests having the butcher cut your whole turkey into pieces so you get all your favorite parts. Grilling only the parts you want to eat also helps when cooking for a smaller crowd, she notes.
The turkey pieces cook for five minutes over direct heat before moving to indirect heat for about 45 minutes. Shortly before removing from the grill, she brushes the beautifully browning bird with melted butter that has been combined with garlic, honey, herbs and freshly squeezed orange juice. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of room in the oven for Grandma’s carrot soufflé and whatever green bean concoction the kids will be pushing around their plates this year.
“When coated in the citrus herb butter, the meat is insanely delicious,” Chatagnier says. “It has crispy skin, juicy insides and a little bit of smoky flavor from the grill.”