Heineken Turkey with Sumac Rub

This isn’t a poisonous sumac, its a delicious spice. Sumac is a popular spice in the middle east. It can be found in specialty stores, or in online spice stores. I buy my sumac at an Indian grocery store. It has a tart, lemony flavor. You will love the flavor of sumac, it goes great with lemon. I paired the tart sumac spice with Heineken, a very popular import beer.


  • 1 8-10 lb turkey, thawed, gizzards and neck removed
  • 1 can Heineken beer
  • A few sprigs of oregano, and the juice of a lemon


  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 1/2 gallons heavily iced water
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 lemon, sliced


  • 4 tablespoons sumac powder


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups turkey stock, and the what’s left of the liquid in the beer can

Turkey stock

  • turkey neck
  • giblets
  • 1/2 onion
  • the zest of a lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 cups water


  1. Add salt, sugar, lemon, onion, oregano, and garlic to a large sauce pot. Add 1/2 gallon of the water and bring to a boil. Boil until everything is onions have softened. Let the mixture cool, and add to a large pot or container, large enough for your bird. Add the heavily iced water, and make sure the mixture is ice cold before adding the bird. Add the bird and brine for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees. Remove the bird and discard the brine. Rinse bird very well and pat dry. Sprinkle bird with sumac powder all over and rub into skin. Open the beer, and pour about 1/4 cup out, and place the oregano and lemon juice into the can. Put the beer can in the holder, if using, and place the turkey on the beer can. The butt of the bird should be sitting on the can. Roast until internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast is 161 degrees. When the bird has reached temperature, remove from the oven or grill and wrap with aluminum foil for at least 1 hour before carving.
  3. While turkey is cooking, make the stock for the gravy. Add the turkey neck, gizzards, onions, garlic, and spices to a saucepan. Add 5 cups of water. Bring to boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours, while turkey is roasting. Stock is done when meat is coming away from the neck bone. Strain stock before using. Melt butter in skillet. Sprinkle in flour. Cook the roux until it has browned, and is fragrant. Whisk in turkey stock. Bring back to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
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One Response to “Heineken Turkey with Sumac Rub”

  1. 1
    Nick - the BBQ guy — January 17, 2010 @ 12:00 am

    I was searching for a turkey recipe rich in flavor and found you blog.
    You have such a wonderful collection of great recipes.

    The ingredient above with Heineken beer looks really interesting, I have never tried cooking turkey that way.

    Might give it a try on a grill next time we have family gathering.

    Thanks for sharing.

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