Blog, Bourbon Smoked Paprika, Bourbon Smoked Pepper, Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt, Bourbon Smoked Sugar, Recipes

Thanksgiving Favorites

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Thanksgiving is getting closer and we are gathering up all of our recipes for you to enjoy!

On our weekly newsletter, we asked you – What are your family traditions? How do you brine your Thanksgiving turkey? Do you use a dry bine/ rub or a wet brine? Some even use no brine for their Thanksgiving turkey. We have about 300 responses and the results are showing WET brining winning by a landslide.  Our Thanksgiving poll was so much fun, we appreciate everyone who participated.


In this blog post, we have a Thanksgiving feast that you, your family, and friends will be drolling over. These quick and easy meals are a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving menu.


It starts with the turkey brining process. If you are a dry rub or a wet brine kind f household we have you covered.

Bourbon Barrel Turkey Rub


Makes enough for 1 turkey

4½ teaspoons whole cumin seeds

4½ teaspoons Bourbon Smoked Paprika

1½ teaspoons Bourbon Smoked Chili Powder

3 tablespoons Bourbon Smoked Sugar

1 tablespoons ground sage

4 ½ teaspoons Bourbon Smoked Salt

2 ½ teaspoons Bourbon Smoked Pepper


1) Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then grind in a clean coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Combine with remaining ingredients, mixing well.

2) Rub turkey with dry rub and allow to sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours (or even overnight) before proceeding to roast or smoke turkey.

Note: this rub would also be excellent on a whole chicken.


Bourbon Barrel Turkey Brine

Makes enough to brine one 12-18 pound turkey

1 gallon (4 quarts) vegetable broth or water

1 cup Bourbon Barrel Smoked Salt

½ cup Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sugar

1 tablespoon Bourbon Barrel Smoked Pepper

½ tablespoon whole allspice

1 gallon ice water

extra ice, if storing turkey in a cooler


1) In a large stockpot, add the vegetable broth, salt, sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. This step can be done 1-2 days ahead of time.

2) Using a large pot or clean bucket that will fit the turkey, pour the brine into your chosen container. Add 1 gallon of heavily iced water and stir. Submerge the turkey, breast side down, into the brine. Store in the refrigerator, overnight, if you have room. You may also put the container into a large cooler and surround with ice.

3) The next day, remove from brine, drain and pat dry well with paper towels before proceeding to roast the turkey.


Bluegrass Soy, Sesame, and Ginger Turkey


Serves 10-12

12-14 lb turkey, rinsed and patted dry

1 ½ sticks butter

½ cup Bluegrass Soy Sauce

¼ cup toasted sesame oil

½ cup chopped scallions, plus 6 whole scallions

¼ cup Bourbon Smoked Sugar

3 tablespoons grated ginger

3” piece ginger, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Bourbon Smoked Salt, to taste

Bourbon Smoked Pepper, to taste

3 cups low-sodium chicken stock


1) Place turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan and leave to come to room temperature, about 1 hour.

2) In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in soy sauce, sesame oil, minced scallions, sugar, grated ginger and red pepper flakes; let cool slightly. Pour the butter into a small bowl and refrigerate until spreadable.

3) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Loosen the skin between the breasts and thighs with your fingers. Spread the chilled butter underneath the skin evenly. Slather butter all over the outside of the turkey. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the whole scallions and ginger slices. Truss legs and tuck wingtips underneath the turkey. Pour any remaining of the soy butter over the top. Season with smoked pepper and a little smoked salt, using less salt, especially if the turkey was brined.

4) Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Add the stock to the pan and tent turkey with aluminum foil if turkey is already starting to heavily brown. Continue to roast for about 1 hour and 35 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should register 155-160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding the bone.

5) Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Skim fat off the pan juices. Carve and serve turkey with the pan juices or use to make a gravy.


Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage and Pecans


Serves 8-10

13×9 pan of cornbread, cut into 1” pieces

3 tablespoons olive oil

19 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings

2 teaspoons Bourbon Smoked Paprika

2 onions, small dice

4 stalks celery, small dice

1 leek, white and pale green parts, chopped and rinsed

¼ cup apple cider vinegar, sherry or white wine

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons, cut into small pieces

2 eggs

2 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1 fresh chili (such as fresno), deseeded and chopped fine (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

3 teaspoons Bourbon Smoked Salt

2 teaspoon Bourbon Smoked Pepper


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the cornbread out on 2 rimmed baking sheets and toast for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool. Butter a shallow 3-quart baking dish and a piece of aluminum foil. Set aside.

2) In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and smoked paprika. Cook, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and no longer pink, about 7-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the cornbread.

3) Add onions, celery, and leeks to the skillet. Saute’, stirring often, until onions are browned and soft, 10-12 minutes. Scrape into the cornbread mixture. Return skillet to medium-high heat and pour in the apple cider vinegar, sherry or white wine to deglaze. Scrape up any brown bits and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the ½ cup of butter and allow to melt. Pour over cornbread mixture. Whisk eggs and 2 cups stock in a medium bowl and add to the cornbread, along with the pecans, chopped chili, and thyme. Season with smoked salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. If stuffing seems dry, add more stock, ¼ cup at a time, until thoroughly moistened.

4) Pour stuffing into baking dish and dot with remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and cover tightly with foil, buttered side down. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and increase oven to 450 degrees. Bake until top is browned, about 20-25 minutes more. Serve warm.

Note: toasting cornbread and pecans and cooking sausage and vegetables can all be done a day ahead. Right before baking, toss everything together and add melted butter, eggs and stock. Proceed as directed.


Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Sorghum, Lime and Feta Cheese


Serves 8-10

1 tablespoon Bourbon Smoked Salt

3 ½-4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup Bourbon Barrel Aged Sorghum

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 teaspoon Bourbon Smoked Salt

½ teaspoon Bourbon Smoked Pepper

5 ounces feta cheese crumbles, reserving some for garnish

¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped, reserving some for garnish


1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and sweet potato and cook until soft, about 10-12 minutes. Drain into a colander. Allow to steam dry for 5 minutes. Transfer sweet potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, mash sweet potatoes.

2) Stir in the olive oil, sorghum, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper. Fold in the feta cheese and cilantro. Check for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with reserved feta and cilantro. Serve warm.


Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Sorghum, Bacon, Smoked Paprika and Shallots


Serves 6

6 ounces (about 4 slices) thick-sliced bacon, cut into small pieces

2 pounds brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed and cut in half

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Bourbon Smoked Salt

1/2 teaspoon Bourbon Smoked Pepper

2 teaspoons Bourbon Smoked Paprika

2 shallots, sliced

½ cup raw pecans

6 tablespoons Bourbon Barrel Aged Sorghum


1) Preheat oven to 375. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Scatter the bacon on the baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes and remove from oven. Combine the bacon with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, except the pecans and sorghum. Toss well to combine. Pour mixture onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Using a spatula, toss brussels sprouts. Roast for another 15 minutes.

2) Remove baking sheet and drizzle over sorghum. Add pecans. Toss to evenly coat. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until everything is browned and as crispy as you like. Serve immediately.


Cranberry Sauce with Smoked Sugar and Orange

Makes 3 cups

2 oranges, juiced (plus zest of 1 orange)

1 cup Bourbon Smoked Sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries



1) Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes or until cranberries have broken down and juices are thickened.

2) Pour into a serving bowl and allow to cool.


Apple Cake with Bourbon Whipped Cream


Makes 1- 9”x13” pan

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons Bourbon Smoked salt

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (plus extra for the pan)

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons Bourbon Barrel Aged Madagascar Vanilla Extract

½ cup Bourbon Barrel Smoked Sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

juice of ½ a lemon

5-6 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Macintosh


For the bourbon whipped cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold

2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

2-3 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon

2 teaspoons Bourbon Barrel Aged Madagascar Vanilla Extract


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9 “x13” baking pan. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the whipped cream. Using a hand mixer or large whisk, whip cream until soft peaks form. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in refrigerator.

2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 2 cups of granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

3) In a small bowl, mix the smoked sugar and cinnamon. Peel, core and slice the apples into a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Add the cinnamon smoked sugar and toss well to combine. Arrange and shingle the sugared apples on top of the batter to completely cover the cake, pressing in lightly. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before serving with the bourbon whipped cream.