If you have a charcoal kettle barbecue, there is nothing quite as cheap, as impressive, or as easy as a barbecued/smoked turkey. I like the turkey because it is impressive looking, great tasting, and cheap. Yes a couple racks of lamb with the bones interlaced through the center is more imppresive. It is also much more expensive, and everyone doesn't like lamb. Turkey is universal.
To make this, simply purchase a twenty pound turkey, with neck and giblets. Thaw it in water, and barbecue following these directions. Also soak 4 cups of maple or apple wood chips in water overnight.
Prepare two beds of charcoal opposite each other in the grill. Leave 6 inches space between them. Light the charcoal.
Remove the giblets and neck. Place these in a pot filled with 1 quart of water. Cover and simmer for an hour. While the charcoal heats, wash and dry the bird inside and out. Paper towels work great for drying the bird. Combine 1 tbs. rubbed sage with 1/2 cup salted butter. Rub all over the turkey skin. Either use a disposable bread pan, or make a drip pan from heavy-duty aluminum foil by rasing the sides to form a 6 by 9 inch pan. Fold the corners over to make the sides hold their shape. Place the drip pan between the hot charcoal beds and fill with 1 cup water. Spread the wood chipa over the charcoal. Place the cooking grid over the charcoal and place the turkey, breast-side up, directly over the drip pan.
Insert a meat thermometer (covered with foil) into the bird, pressing from the breast into the meat so that the tip is near the thigh, body joint (the hip). Cover the grill and set all vents at the half open position. Let the bird barbecue for about ten minutes per pound. No need to touch it, baste it, or do anything else with it. Just check the fire every half hour or so to make sure it stays hot.
You can emulate this technique on a gas barbecue by placing a disposable aluminum pan filled with wood chips over the lit burner, and the turkey over the unlit burner, again with a meat thermometer.
Remove the turkey when the thermometer reads 150 degrees F. Let it rest for twenty minutes before carving. To carve, remove the thighs and wings at the body joint and lay on a platter opposite each other. Remove the breasts in whole pieces by cutting down from the breast bone and carefully removing the meat as you go. Then, carve into 1/4 inch thick slices accross the grain, making sure that each slice is covered by skin. Lay the slices between the legs and wings, on the platter. Garnish with something green and pretty such as kale, leaf lettuce, or parsley. Serve with suitable sides that are appropriate for the summer season. Sliced cantaloupe is always appreciated, or a cold fruit based soup. Maybe some kind of ice cream desert.
And then on the other hand, I'm of the opinion that a great sandwich as some really good baked beans is as good as the most extravagant of meals.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North