Let’s be honest, the best part of Thanksgiving is the food. It’s what we look forward to for months and dream about for weeks. Once the long-awaited week arrives, the food preparation almost becomes more of an event than the actual feast. The coup-de-grâce of this feast is the turkey, obviously. For years the bird was prepared the same way. A bit of brine on the outside, some spices inside, then stick in the oven for several hours. Then a fascinating idea took hold: what if we switch things up to reflect the taste of those eating? It was a crazy notion that has now given each family their own unique cooking tradition. If you and your brood are still looking for ways to tweak your main course, take some tips from AllSouth Subcontractors on four turkey recipes to try this Thanksgiving.


1. Mayonnaise

Yes, mayonnaise. While it may seem like an odd “seasoning”, it can help produce one of the juiciest turkeys you’ll taste. The mayo isn’t potent enough to give off an overwhelming taste. Instead, it does its job of adding moistness. And since you’re going to probably put mayo on the sandwich you make with the leftovers anyways, is it really that strange? Start by mixing your choice of herbs with 1 ½ cup of mayo (per 13lbs of turkey). Spread the mix on the skin and inside of the bird with salt and pepper. Toss in some chopped celery and onion with a stick of butter inside then cook per your weight instructions—for this size and ingredients, cook at 450° for 30 minutes then at 350° until internal temperature reaches 165°.

2. Cajun    

Most relate Cajun influences to New Orleans but we know that here along the Gulf Coast the Creole influences are everywhere. Why shouldn’t that extend to our Thanksgiving meal? Bring a bit of a kick to your meal this year with this spicy recipe. Begin the day before by brushing salt, pepper and your choice of Cajun mixes on the skin and inside. For a true Creole taste, make sure your mix includes cayenne, garlic powder and some red pepper. Prepare in the oven the same way as described in the previous section, then enjoy!

3. Tipsy Turkey

A tipsy bird makes for a tastier meal. Everything about this recipe brings happiness to the table and will leave you wanting to use this recipe several times a year. Mix 2 cups of maple syrup with 1 cup of preferred bourbon (Jack Daniel’s is a favorite) then add in some salt-water mixture. Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours. Once it’s time to cook, butter the skin and add veggies inside. Cook to weight specifications. The real key to keeping this one tasty and juicy is to pull it out of the oven every half hour and brush with more of the syrup—bourbon mixture. Your guests will thank you for the meticulous attention.

4. Fried

This is a hugely popular cooking method in the South, but it still isn’t widely adopted as a standard cooking method for Thanksgiving. For those wanting to shake up their table though, consider the fryer as opposed to the oven. The key is to inject the turkey first. Homemade concoctions are usually the best because you can tweak it to your liking. Try to include vinaigrette-based dressing for extra juiciness. Fry in the cooking oil 3 minutes per pound then watch your family attack the pan like scavengers.


Once the turkey hits the Thanksgiving table, it’s most likely going to be whole-heartedly consumed no matter the style. Make the meal a little more special with one of these four turkey recipes to try this Thanksgiving courtesy of AllSouth Subcontractors.


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