ith the heat Texans have endured this Summer, I think we are all hoping Fall is right around the corner. While some commemorate the changing of the season with all things pumpkin, I try not to be so basic. I’m more focused on football and dreaming of all the seasonal foods (and spirits) I can throw on the smoker. If you’re anything like me, I start planning our Thanksgiving spread early. There may even be a test cook (or two) in there before the big day. I am always looking for ways to elevate the typical holiday meal; Smoked Turkey and Smoked Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie are two of our family’s non-negotiables. Smoked turkeys can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be with this simple spatchcock method. I start off with an overnight brine. I like using the Traeger Turkey Blend and Brine for my birds. The next morning rinse the turkey really well with cold water and pat dry. Next, you’ll want to spatchcock the turkey by removing the backbone and making a cut down from the middle of the wishbone to the breastbone. Flip the turkey over and press down firmly like providing high quality chest compressions, to break open the membrane from the breastbone. Slowly separate the skin from the breast meat and peel the skin back. Season with your favorite rub directly on the meat to help get a deeper level of taste. Place pats of butter over the breast and pull the skin back over the breast meat. Spray the outside of the turkey with Duck Fat Spray and season with your go-to rub. I use Meat Church Holy Voodoo for the entire bird. Get your Traeger Grill or favorite cooker rolling at 225 degrees and place the turkey on for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, get the heat up to 325 degrees until you reach 158 degrees in the breast (about 2-2.5 hours). Pull and tent with foil, and let that glorious bird rest for 20-30 minutes.
I hope you save room for dessert because our Smoked Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie is not only delicious, it’s easy to make.
Pie Crust: You do you boo, want to go homemade? Go for it! I go frozen premade (okay, it’s a little bit basic)
Get your smoker up to 350-375 degrees with pecan or a lighter smoking wood/pellet like apple or cherry. Put pecans on foil and throw on the smoker for 8-10 minutes. Pull pecans and chop into course pieces. Keep the smoker going at the same temperature. Whisk together TX Bourbon, eggs, melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla, and brown sugar until all mixed up. Add in chocolate chips and pe-cans. Pour filling into pie crust and put on the smoker until the center of the pie is set. If the crust is browning too fast, you can tent the rim with foil. When the center of the pie is set; pull, and let sit for an hour.