Play It Safe or Go Wild: 2 Celebrity Chef Turkey Recipes

Jay Johnson - Well if you ask me, any turkey that you don't have to personally prep, fuss over, roast, carve, serve, and clean up after is the best turkey ever. But if you're in the situation of having to host the annual Best Feast Ever, perhaps you should consider some great turkey recipes.

I searched online for recipes that really stood out, and I narrowed my list down to two options. There's still time to shop and prepare, so never fear - or feel free to save these for next year. Both recipes are from celebrity chefs, so I reason that they don't want to ruin their reputations with duds. Further: I chose one because it looked safe and the other because it looked wild and extraordinary. Which do you prefer?

Alton Brown's Turkey

Celebrity chef Alton Brown wants you to know that his recipe may be superior to others for one reason. "It's scientific and foolproof." Hmmm. That does appeal to me. If I'm trying a new turkey recipe, I'll go for one that helps compensate for my first-time mistakes. It's tough to practice a new turkey recipe before Thanksgiving, yet it's uncomfortable to experiment with your houseguests and family on the Big Day.

Start out with 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the Brine:

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

For the Aromatics:

1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

Click here for the full recipe and prep directions. (See top photo for Alton's glorious final results.)

Bobby Flay's Turkey

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay, the famous "throwdown" cook, offers an amazing way to prepare turkey that just seems to be lightyears in the seasoning and spice department above other recipes. Here are the ingredients for his Black Pepper-Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Turkey.

For the Turkey Glaze:

1 1/2 cups pomegranate molasses
3/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

For the Turkey:

1 (about 15 pounds) fresh turkey
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth

Click here for the full recipe and demonstration video (plus his Wild Rice/Goat Cheese Dressing).