Turkey done the "Old Fashioned" way.
Gobble, Gobble! It’s mid November, which means Turkey-Day is right around the corner. We are so thankful for the loyalty and support of all our customers this year, and especially the newest member of the Columbus Barrel Co team ~ The Big Green Egg. I speak for everyone when I say lunch at CBC has moved to a whole new level! If you’ve never heard of the Big Green Egg, it’s a grill, smoker, and oven all in one; a big ol’ green, ceramic egg-shaped, charcoal cooking experience.
So, you might be wondering, “Why is this guy talking about a cooking appliance on a bourbon blog?” Wait for it...BOURBON BARREL GRILLING CHUNKS! Imagine the smoky, sweet taste of your favorite aged bourbon infused in a pork roast or porter house steak, grilled to perfection.
But since it’s November, I decided to use bourbon chunks on our Thanksgiving turkey this year, and turn the bird into an “Old Fashioned” cocktail-inspired masterpiece. I prepped a fresh, free-range turkey (he was strutting through a yard just days before) using “Meat Church Bird Bath” brine. It soaked for 24 hours to add moisture and flavor. After that, I patted the turkey dry and rubbed it with a full container of “Meat Church Honey Hog.” Don’t be afraid to get all over that bird and massage that dry rub in. Now here comes the Old Fashioned cocktail vibe – stuff the turkey with sliced oranges, onions, a few garlic cloves, a bundle of thyme, and some maraschino cherries. Citrus and cherries? Yes, please! Now bring on the bourbon infusion!
Once the turkey was prepped, it was time to start cooking on the Big Green Egg. I threw a bunch of bourbon barrel chunks right in with the FOGO charcoal (the only kind I use), so the heat would release the natural, smoky bourbon flavor from the wood. Mmmm that smell! On top of the coals, I put a drip pan with fresh Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, oranges, onions, garlic, and maraschino cherries. We all know heat rises, so putting this drip pan under the bird sent those flavors right up with the heat and surrounded it with goodness. I put the turkey on the grilling rack and cooked it around 350 degrees for 2.5 hours.
When that time was up, I laid 4 sticks of butter – yep, you read that right – on top of the turkey and wrapped it in foil to continue cooking for another 1.5 hours. Can you even imagine a turkey cooked with a pound of butter?! When the turkey reached a safe internal temperature, I removed it from the heat and let it rest for an hour. You’ll be tempted to cut into that bird right away, but trust me, you need to let it rest to seal in all the flavorful juices that you worked so hard for in the beginning. Go grab a real Old Fashioned cocktail, turn on a football game, and just forget about the bird for an hour. Only after you’ve done that, can you carve it up and let the feasting begin.
We might not have turkeys running around the shop, but we definitely have all the bourbon barrel chunks you’ll need to get through the holiday season. Trust us, your dinner guests will thank you.