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North Carolina Barbecue Turkey

No recipe image available.As the birthplace of barbecue, the Carolinas embrace many rich and flavorful traditions. Many area churches host Sunday afternoon get-togethers. Seeking healthier options to serve these generally large crowds, many have turned to turkey. This is Albert Farmer's original recipe from the Bible Baptist Church in Wilson, North Carolina.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 (10 to 12-pound) whole, fresh or thawed
As needed vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds turkey bacon
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, crushed
1 pint apple cider vinegar
1/2 pint cold water

Cooking Directions:

  1. Cut turkey in half.
  2. Rub with oil.
  3. Wrap with bacon (If turkey is more than 12 pounds, use bacon substitute, as real bacon will burn).
  4. Prepare grill for medium indirect heat cooking. For gas grills, place a drip pan under one half of the rack then spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray, turn on the heat on the other half of the grill. For charcoal grills, place the coals around the outside edges of the grill, place a drip pan in the center, spray the rack and light the charcoal.
  5. Place turkey, breast side up, on grill rack over drip pan. Cover and grill turkey 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat thermometer inserted into deepest portion of thigh reaches 180°F (85°C) and leg bone will turn and separate from meat. Turkey should be golden brown.
  6. Allow turkey to cool. Remove turkey from bones and chop.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and mix well.
  8. Mix vinegar and water and sprinkle over meat. Stir gently into chopped turkey. Add water if vinegar mixture is too strong.
  9. Serve 1/3-pound turkey barbecue with a vinegar-based coleslaw.

Makes 15 servings.

Recipe provided courtesy of the National Turkey Federation.