One of my strongest childhood memories was our family trip in 1985 to Orlando, Florida; our first pilgrimage to Walt Disney World. We did a lot of fun things, saw a lot of amazing sights, and ate a lot of good food. As one does on such a trip. And the strongest food memory I have?
Those giant smoked turkey legs you can get at Disney properties called to me the moment I smelled them, and it was love at first smell. As soon as I could get my hands on one, I’d found my go-to meal for the rest of the trip (or, as often as my parents would allow). I still cannot go to a Disney Park without having one, if at all possible.
There’s just something magical that happens to turkey when hit by a lovely bit of smoke. They’re a natural pairing. As I grew and learned to cook, smoking a whole turkey became something of a #lifegoal, and I’m happy to have now done it many times.
My love of smoked turkey is part of why I was excited to hear about the Turkey Madness competition going on right now. When I saw there was a BBQ’d turkey category, I knew I’d found my place. You can read more about the contest below, but first, here’s my entry to the contest.
Prepare for mouthwatering in 3… 2… 1…
Sausage-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped, Maple-Glazed BBQ Turkey Breast
Turkey, sausage, stuffing, bacon, and maple? How can this possibly not win? I have this in the bag, man.
1 package Honeysuckle White Mild Italian Sausage Roll (16 oz)
2 cups of your favorite bread stuffing/dressing (or 1/2 cup per turkey cutlet)
1 package Honeysuckle White Boneless Turkey Breast Cutlets (4 cutlets)
12 slices bacon (about 3 per cutlet)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp each paprika, chili power, and cumin
(Optional, but Highly Recommended) Soak turkey cutlets in a simple brine solution (1/2 cup each of sugar and salt, dissolved in 2 quarts of water) for at least 1 hour.
Prepare your favorite stuffing mixture, You will need about 2 cups (or a 1/2 cup per Turkey Cutlet), so as the chef feel free to eat the rest yourself. 😉
In a skillet, cook turkey sausage until no longer pink. Combine sausage and stuffing.
Prepare smoker with your favorite wood (I like maple for this) to maintain a low heat (250 degrees).
Remove turkey from brine (if using), pat dry with paper towels, then sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
Put a 1/2 cup scoop of sausage stuffing on each cutlet, carefully roll or fold cutlets around stuffing
Wrap rolled cutlet tightly with several pieces of bacon, and secure with toothpicks.
Get those babies into the smoker! (If your smoker has a water pan, use it.)
While turkey is smoking, mix maple syrup, garlic, and spices in a small bowl.
After 1 hour of smoking, baste with maple-spice mixture, repeating every half hour.
Remove from smoker when the internal temperature registers 160 degrees.
Allow turkey to rest for about 15 minutes (carry-over heat will bring it to a safe temp of 165 degrees) before (carefully) slicing and serving!
Don’t have a smoker?
Good news! These are also amazing done right in a 350 degree oven, or even on the grill! Just keep an eye on the internal temp, and start basting earlier. A few dashes of liquid smoke in the maple glaze mixture will add a nice smokey flavor too!
About the Contest
There are three separate competitions during the course of Turkey Madness. Each week someone will win a $250 VISA Gift Card!
#Turkappetizer: March 7-13 Create an appetizer using ground turkey! Need some inspiration? Think of your favorite college basketball team, and what you want to munch on while you watch them compete.
#TurkBQ: March 14-20 Think beyond the turkey burger. We’re talking moist, smokey goodness, here.
#SouperiorDinner: March 21 – 27 Create a soup full of turkey that will satisfy the finickiest kid.
Create and photograph your own turkey recipe and share the photo of your image on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter using #TurkeyMadness and email your recipes and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
SHADY BROOK FARMS and HONEYSUCKLE WHITE will choose the winners, based on: