My father first did this years ago and perfected it over time. He made the mistake of giving them for gifts one year and was swamped with so many requests that he had to stop doing it. This has been the standard turkey at our family's holiday dinners for 25 years.
- In a bowl mix minced onion, garlic, rosemary, pepper, 1 tsp paprika, salt and enough olive oil to create a thick paste consistency.
- Clean turkey and prepare for smoker breast up. With a paring knife or other small knife, make incisions straight down into the meat and to the bone, about 1 to 1.5 inches long. You can gouge the holes out deeper below the surface by wiggling the knife to make a larger cavity if you wish. Do this all over the turkey, in any place that you can make a hole and pack some of the mix into the cut, about 1.5 to 2 inches apart.
- Use a spoon and fingers to pack all of the holes with your mix, stuffing them to the top of the hole.
- Quarter onions and pack them with the rosemary sprigs inside the turkey cavity.
- With your hands, coat the turkey on the outside completely with olive oil, and then dust down fairly heavily with paprika. Tie the legs together with string.
- Place on smoker and smoke as you usually would, about 4 to 5 hours in my particular smoker.
Used this recipe for a Fresh Turkey Breast at Thanksgiving, It is EXCELLENT....I cooked it on a Webber Kettle Charcoal grill with hickory wood added to the coals, about 3 hours of smoking time. I have to cook another for Christmas. Bank the charcoal on one side of the grille and hang a couple of foil curtains to divide the grille into thirds, coals on the small side of curtain and the meat on the large side, position lid vents over large side, smoke and heat will go under the curtains, put a thermometer in the top vent to keep tempeture in the 350 range. technique can apply to fish, fowl, pork, beef or peppers when you want a smoked version.....Jim
Actually I found this recipe for DH and he prepared the turkey. He had some difficulty in the kitchen locating the proper spices. He used a rosemary and garlic blend instead of the rosemary and garlic. After making numerous incisions in the meat, he had some of the onion mixture left over and he rubbed it over the turkey. The turkey was about 12 pounds and only 1 full onion fit in the cavity. His smoker is a charcoal smoker and the turkey cooked for 6 hours over the hot coals. We refrigerated the turkey overnight and then today warmed it at 300 degrees for about 2 ½ hours. It was a beautiful brown, moist and tender. Something I hope he will do again.