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A Taste of Thanksgiving Turkey Burger

The smells and flavors of Thanksgiving dinner make it my favorite meal. They bring to mind memories of a warm kitchen and, relatives and friends bustling around our house. I start getting hungry for Thanksgiving dinner as soon as the days get cooler and shorter. If it wasn't such a major production I would prepare Thanksgiving dinner more often. This burger makes it easy to bring the flavors of Thanksgiving to my family at any time of the year.


3 large yams, cut in half
2 pounds ground turkey
3/4 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons Bell's poultry seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 package, 12 ounces fresh cranberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 can, 13.75 ounces, quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 pine nuts, shelled
1/8 teaspoon fresh, ground, black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup half and half
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing the grill
3/4 pound Brie cheese, sliced thin
6 large, fresh, good quality hamburger buns


Prepare a charcoal grill with a cover, with hot glowing coals.

To begin the preparation of the yams, completely wrap each yam half with aluminum foil. Pierce each yam half, through the foil, with the tip of a knife. Do this several times to vent. Place each yam half onto the center of the grill. Cover the grill. Let the yams cook for a least one hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the turkey patties. To prepare the patties, combine, in a large bowl, the ground turkey, 1/2 cup sage leaves, 1/4 cup thyme leaves, 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, 2 cloves of the minced garlic, 2 teaspoon Bell's poultry seasoning and salt. Handling as little as possible, shape into 6 patties to fit the hamburger buns. Wrap each patty loosely with plastic wrap. Place the patties in a cold cooler and set aside.

To prepare the cranberry relish: Place the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and orange zest into a food processor. Chop until just combined. Transfer the relish to a medium size bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To prepare the sausage and artichoke heart "stuffing": Heat a large, heavy, iron skillet on the grill. Remove the sausages from their casings and place in the skillet. Using a long heat safe spoon, break the sausages up and cook them until they are brown and crumbly. Remove the sausage from the skillet to a plate covered with paper towels to drain. Place the skillet back onto the grill and add the olive oil. Heat the oil and add the rest of the chopped onions, the remaining 2 cloves of minced garlic, and the celery. Cook until the onions and the celery are just soft, about 5 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts and cooked sausage. Stir to combine. Add the pine nuts, the remaining sage, thyme, Bell's poultry seasoning and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the grill and cover with aluminum foil, set aside.

To complete the preparation of the yams: Remove the yams from the grill, remove the aluminum foil from the yams. Scoop out their cooked, soft centers and place in a medium bowl. Add butter, half and half, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mash with a potato masher until well combined. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and set aside.

To cook the patties: Brush the grill with the vegetable oil. Remove the patties from their plastic wrap and place the patties on the grill, cook about 6 to 7 minutes on each side, turning once. Place cheese slices on the patties the last 2 minutes of grilling. Remove the patties from the grill.

To assemble the burgers: Place equal portions of the yams onto each bun bottom, carefully covering the entire bun bottom. Place a cheese topped turkey patty onto the yams, add equal portions of the sausage and artichoke "stuffing" topping to the patties. Place equal portions of the cranberry relish to the inside of the bun top, carefully covering the entire bun top. Top the burger stack with the bun top and serve.

Makes 6 burgers.


A medium size cooler will be needed with a constant supply of ice or frozen cooler packs to keep the patties cool during the "set aside" period.

For the cranberry relish, the ingredients may be processed in batches and then combined depending on the size of the food processor.

There are many fun steps to these burgers. Each, is easy. They combine to make a Thanksgiving feast.