jalapeño, cooked turkey liver and heart,
honey and apple cider vinegar all blended
with butter. He spreads the butter across
grilled housemade white bread with
buckwheat honey, tops with barbecue
turkey and garnishes with a housemade
fermented barrel pickle.
Last fall, Randy Zweiban, chef/owner of
Province in Chicago, visited Gunthorp
Farms in LaGrange, Ind., to purchase pork.
He left with turkeys, too. “The farm grows
turkeys each year. I bought a few and
decided to cold-smoke them,” he says.
“Soak the wood chips in water for
a couple of hours before smoking.
Soaking the turkey in a saltwater
bath will open the meat’s pores
and allow the meat to hold onto
its moisture during the smoking
process and retain the smoky flavor.”
— Arturo Guzman.
At the Guerneville, Calif.-based
Roadhouse Restaurant at Dawn Ranch
Lodge, smoked turkey complements the
restaurant’s hearty, local-ingredient-produced comfort food concept.
Executive chef Arturo Guzman builds
a salad with smoked turkey, mixed
greens, Point Reyes blue cheese, apples,
currants and balsamic vinaigrette. And
he pairs smoked turkey with avocado
mayonnaise, grilled onions, pepper Jack
cheese and tomatoes inside a spinach
Zweiban brined the turkey, and cold-smoked at 40ºF for four to six hours.
Next, he covered the turkey in a dry
spice rub, and slow-roasted it in an
orange/mojo sauce in a rotisserie oven.
(Because the cold-smoking method
does not involve heat, the turkey must
be cooked afterward.) Zweiban pulled
and shredded white and dark meat, and
displayed it in a hash featuring a confit
of fingerling potatoes that had been
cooked in duck fat, pork belly bacon and
“Smoke can get lost in the transition
from smoker to plate when the chef
tries to outthink himself. Keep things
simple. Let the smoke be the focus.”
— Brent Ruggles
“Introduce a good smoky flavor in
the first hour or two of smoking, then
let the low and slow temperature
work to permeate the flavor
throughout the meat. Stay away from
fresh herbs. You might be tempted
to stuff the cavity with herbs, but
then you’ll mask the smokiness.”
— Kevin Cronin
“Smoked turkey adds a great additional
flavor to classic comfort food. It adds
depth to dishes, and the smoking
process softens the gamy flavor of the
turkey meat,” says Guzman, who prefers
using a Big Green Egg smoker with
applewood chips. “The main challenge
to smoking turkey is to make sure
the right temperature is held for the
correct amount of time. Too long will
dry out the meat, and the flavor will be
“The hash is a fun dish to do,” he says.
“It’s really timely for the holidays, and
showcases the beautiful quality of the
turkey. Smoked turkey has a great flavor
“Obtain the right temperature and keep
it around 225ºF. If the temperature goes
lower, it will take longer to cook, higher,
and it will cook too fast and dry out.
— Paul Virant
This hearty soup uses smoked turkey
with wild rice and dried cherries.
National Turkey Federation