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Smoked Turkey for Thanksgiving

I found out almost a year ago that Patak Meats, that palace of smoked meats in Austell, smokes turkeys for Thanksgiving. I inquired and learned that I needed to reserve a turkey a month in advance. I bided my time until October, when I ordered my turkey. After all that anticipation, I picked it up a week before Thanksgiving, along with a supply of other meats: smoked sausages, unsmoked sausages, pastrami, and some of their wonderful bacon.

For Thanksgiving, I decided to steam my turkey to keep it moist. I used the large pot I bought for corn on the cob---the basket made a perfect receptacle for steaming something as big as a turkey. The turkey was outstanding. The smoking is very subtle. You don't get a blast of burnt wood flavor but the smoking gives the turkey a meatier taste. And smoking certainly didn't make the turkey any less moist---it was perfect.

I made the bones into a turkey stock. Tonight, I used some of the leftover turkey and some of the stock to make a turkey pot pie. If anything, the smoked turkey with the vegetables and rich gravy was even better than the turkey itself.

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