Hickory-Smoked Turkey with Gravy
A double dose of The Usual (via a seasoned compound butter and final shower of spices) result in a moist, deeply flavorful turkey welcome on any holiday table. Consider Miguel’s recipe a core cooking method for a whole bird (roasted in a covered grill or the oven), and swap in other blends (e.g. Onion Butter, Honey Garlic, Sweet Peeper) when you want to change things up. Lemon zest and chopped parsley would be fragrant additions to the compound butter. Feel free to supplement the vegetable aromatics with lemon wedges, cloves of unpeeled garlic, or sprigs of rosemary, sage or thyme.
Hickory-Smoked Turkey with Gravy
2 hours 30 minutes
Recipe by Miguel Raya | Cooking with Fire
From Miguel: With Thanksgiving around the corner, you’ll be happy to have this easy and delicious hickory smoked turkey recipe in your back pocket. The aroma of The Usual reminds me of Thanksgiving, and pairs extremely well with turkey. I made one delicious compound butter with it. When it comes to doneness, I recommend using an instant-read meat thermometer, to ensure the turkey is cooked perfectly. Here’s how to smoke a turkey in a few simple steps.
10-12 pound turkey, thawed to room temperature
3 celery stalks chopped
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
½ lb baby carrots
8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp The Usual seasoning, plus more for seasoning
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup turkey drippings
1 cup water
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the compound butter
For the gravy
Make the compound butter: Place the butter and The Usual seasoning in a bowl and use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
Cut up your veggies. They’ll be used to stuff the turkey.
Preheat the smoker to 350℉.
Remove the turkey giblets and neck from the turkey and freeze them for another dish. Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel. Carefully separate the turkey skin from the breast by sliding your hand right underneath the skin (you want to make a pocket for the compound butter). Do the same thing with the thighs as well. Place as much butter as you can underneath the skin on the breast and thighs.
Slather the remaining butter all over the turkey. Then, season the turkey liberally with The Usual. Place the turkey in a roasting pan (to catch the drippings for the gravy).
Add a couple chunks of hickory wood to your smoker. When the fire begins to produce a steady stream of smoke, place the turkey in the smoker and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165℉ in the thickest part of the breast.
Once the turkey is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. While the turkey is resting, make the gravy. Combine the butter and all-purpose flour in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture starts to brown. Whisk in the turkey drippings, along with 1 cup of water, and continue stirring until the gravy starts to thicken. Remove from heat and season as desired.
Carve the turkey: Start by removing the wings from the turkey. Slicing through the joints, removing the legs, thighs, and finally the breast. For the breast, slice the smoked turkey as closely as you can along the rib cage, pulling the meat back as you slice. Slice the breast halves as desired, plate them with the wings, legs and thighs and serve with the gravy.