Smoked Turkey Salad with Pecans and Fresh Herbed Aioli

Cooker Configuration 

Turkey isn't just for holidays any more. This twist on the classic chicken salad came to us when we needed to use leftover turkey at Thanksgiving. It became such a hit that we make it year round.

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Smoked Turkey Salad

3 lb. Smoked Turkey Roast cut into small cubes

1/2 cup Toasted Chopped Pecans

1 medium Vidalia or Sweet Onion (chopped)

1/2 cup Chopped Celery

1/2 cup White Grapes (quartered)

1 Lime, zested

Apple or Pecan Wood Chunks

Herbed Aioli

2 teaspoons Fresh Rosemary, chopped

2 teaspoons Fresh Sage, chopped

1 Large Egg 

2 teaspoons of Lime Juice

2 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1/2 cup of Quality Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (light)

1/2 cup Coconut Oil (or light vegetable oil)

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Coarsely Ground Pepper Mélange

Brine

1/2 gallon of warm water

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup kosher salt

2 sprigs of Fresh Rosemary

2 sprigs of Fresh Sage

Let's get started.

​​Brine Directions

Into a medium-sized bowl, add enough warm water - to later - cover the turkey roast. Next, add your kosher salt, sugar, oil and herbs to the water and mix the ingredients together. Stir the mixture until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Allow the water to cool and then add your turkey roast to the mixture. Stir it all together and then place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight.  

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Smoking the Turkey Roast

Take the turkey roast out of the brine, rinse and pat dry. Set your Goldens' Cast Iron Cooker up for smoking using the indirect technique according to the Cooker Configuration diagram displayed. Once the temperature reaches 350 degrees, add your wood chunks to start the smoking process. Dial back the temperature by reducing air flow and bring the temperature down to 225 degrees F. Place your turkey roast in the cooker making sure it is NOT over the heat source. Smoke the turkey for about 2.5 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Carefully remove your turkey from the cooker, wrap it in aluminum foil and allow it to cool before slicing.

While your turkey is cooling, let's get started on the Aioli. The key to a quick, easy and foolproof Aioli is the use of the whole egg, quality light fruity oil, fresh herbs and an immersion blender. Place all the ingredients into a tall jar and blend until all the oil is emulsified.

Cut your turkey into small cubes and transfer to a large bowl, add the rest of your ingredients and fold in the Aioli. Mix well and store in the refrigerator.

Serve with toasted bread for sandwiches or make lettuce wraps using butter leaf lettuce.

If you're looking for a more savory salad, replace the grapes with bacon crumbles.