This year, we thought we’d give you our easy oh-shit-I-need-to-cook-a-turkey-fast recipe. As long as you have access to a fresh turkey, an oven, a meat injector (which can be picked up for about $10), a grocery store, and an ID that proves you’re at least 21, you can make turkey magic happen in a matter of hours. Why is it so quick? Well, because this turkey is “drunk” — literally injected all over with beer and spices — so it doesn’t require a brine.
For the beer, you can use whatever you plan to serve with the turkey, but if you’re looking for recommendations, we always like to pair our bird with a nice saison. In addition to the beer, the other magic ingredient in this recipe is the Zatarain’s concentrated liquid crab and shrimp boil. We stole this trick from the reigning king of New Orlean’s cuisine, Emeril Lagasse. It’s full of spicy herbal umami goodness and really gives the marinade a zesty boost.
1 10 to 12-pound fresh turkey
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 cups chicken stock
For the injection marinade:
1 12-ounce saison (or other beer)
⅓ cup your favorite barbecue rub
⅓ cup turkey or poultry rub
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1½ tablespoons Zatarain’s concentrated liquid crab and shrimp boil
¼ cup apple cider
¾ cup honey
¼ cup minced garlic
½ cup olive oil
What else you’ll need:
Meat injector needle
Roasting pan with a raised rack
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water, pat it dry with paper towels, and place it on the roasting pan rack. Combine all of the ingredients for the injection marinade in a food processor. Pulse until everything is blended into a smooth liquid. Using a 2:1 salt to pepper ratio, season the turkey liberally, making sure to coat the inside of the cavity as well. Then, using the meat injector, begin injecting the bird with the marinade. Make sure to get all parts of the turkey as evenly as possible. When there is only a half cup of the marinade left, stop injecting and pour the remainder over the bird, then put the pan (uncovered) into the pre-heated oven.
After 30 minutes, pour the chicken stock into the roasting pan and lower the heat to 350ºF. Baste the turkey with the pan stock, then continue to do so every 30 minutes. After the second basting (or once the bird has been in the oven about an hour and the skin begins to turn dark brown) cover the turkey with aluminum foil. Cook, continuing to baste every 30 minutes, until the breast reaches an internal temp of 165ºF (make sure you’re testing the breast — you want the thighs to be much warmer). Depending on your oven and the size of your turkey, it should be done after it’s been in the oven a total of of 2 ½ to 3 hours.
Allow the bird to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy with lots of good beer and all your favorite holiday fixins!