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Beer Can Turkey, Turkey Salad & Turkey Soup

The Chicken/Turkey salad is Grandma Billie's chicken salad recipe using turkey meat and Spice House spices. I think the ground green peppercorns add a more subtle kick than the black. I am not a hot spice person. I like to use the ground celery seed vs a celerey salt, because I can control the salt content, and it just tastes better. The turkey soup is a pretty standard soup recipe, but the Milwaukee Ave Steak Seasoning makes a tasty variation on the recipe. It's another way to enjoy turkey meat, without sage and stuffing.

Submitted by: Jack from Evanston, IL
Yield: Varies by the size of the bird. At least 15 soup portions, and 10 sandwich portions.


Featured in this Recipe


  • 2 pounds Seedless Grapes, washed and cut in half
  • 1/2 head fresh Celery, chopped medium
  • 1/4 cup Green Onions, finely chopped
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup Hellman's Low Fat Mayonaisse (not fat free)
  • 1 - 2 pounds Pasta Shells (medium size)
  • 1 Quart (4 cups) Chicken Stock (optional)
  • 1 - 2 pounds Onions, chopped
  • 1/2 head fresh Celery, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon, freshly ground Green Peppercorns
  • 2 - 4 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 16 ounce Beer, in a can
  • For Turkey Salad Sandwiches:
  • For Turkey Soup:
  • 1 12 pound Turkey

Preparation Instructions:

Open beer and pour one third into a glass for the cook. Pour the rest into a mixing or measuring bowl, and mix the spice in the bowl. Add enough chicken stock to make 16 ounces.

Using the empty beer can, fill it with the beer, stock and spice mixture. Place the can in the cavity of the bird. Balance the bird upright, on top of the can, in a baking dish, tent with aluminum foil, and cook until done. (Most afficianados say to poke holes in the top of the can, to let the steam out.)

When the bird is finished cooking, pour the stock and spice mixture into the roasting pan and use it to de-glaze the pan. Pour off the deglazed liquid (and veggies) into a smaller sauce pan or bowl. Spoon off the fat with a spoon, retaining the fat separately. Throw the degreased liquid and veggies into a large stock pot. I find a six quart pot is just large enough to hold the soup from a 12 pound bird.

Let the bird cool enough to use your hands. Completely separate the meat from everything else, and retain it for later. Keep the breast meat as whole as possible--we are going to chop it later. Throw the skin, bones, and fat into the stock pot. Fill it with enough water to cover everything about an inch or two. Cover and simmer very low 6-12 hours. (Sometimes, I leave it on over night. A crockpot should work for this purpose. I put a couple of bricks on my gas stove under the pot to cut down the heat. Otherwise, simmering turns to a boil.)

Now that the soup stock is cooking, we can make the turkey salad for sandwiches.

Chop the breast meat into medium to small pieces. Clean the grapes, and slice them in half. Wash and chop the celery into medium to small pieces. Clean and chop the green onions very fine.

Put the turkey meat, grapes, clelery, and green onions in a large bowl, and mix, adding the spices and mayonaisse. Even though the turkey was cooked with the Milwaukee Ave Steak Seasoning, this flavor does not carry over into the breast meat when the skin is removed.

(There is a lot of disagreement in our family about the exact quantities of the green onions and the mayo. The spices are always to taste, since each batch varies.)

Spread on bread for a sandwich, or on flatbread for an hors d'oeuvre. Slosh it down with a leaf of washed Romaine for an Atkins "sandwich".

When the stock has simmered enough, put a large strainer in the top of a pot large enough to hold the liquid, and strain the stock into the second pot. Remove the larger bones with a slotted spoon. Let the strained liquid cool on a cutting board. Strain the liquid again through a smaller mesh strainer, let it cool enough, and skim off fat with a large spoon. While the liquid is cooling, sort through the strained flotsam with your fingers, and pick out any larger bits of meat before throwing the rest away.

Towards the end of simmering the soup, cook the pasta separately. I use a pound of pasta for a 12 pound bird. Cook it very soft, drain, and set aside for later. (Do not rinse the pasta.)

Wash and chop all the veggies, to soup spoon sized pieces.

Wipe out the empty stock pot, and put the stock back into the pot. Pour in the can of Chicken stock, add the veggies, and 1 tablespoon of the Milwaukee Ave Steak Seasoning. Bring to a boil and simmer until the veggies are soft, but not mushy.

While that's cooking, go through the meat one more time. Completely trim out any fat, tissue, bone, etc. Chop the meat into bite sized pieces, small enough to fit on a soup spoon.

When the veggies are done, turn the heat off. Add the pasta, meat, and enough water to cover it all. Usually the pot has enough heat to warm it all. If not, turn the burner back on, but try not to cook it any further. Add another tablespoon of the spice and the ground peppercorn. Mix 4 tablespoons corn starch with a bit of water, stir it up, and throw it in. I always add the salt last. Adjust the spices to your own taste.

Helpful Hints

The dark meat doesn't become good turkey salad, because it has more fat in it. Mixed with the mayo, it's like eating oil. There are those who claim using canned stock is cheating. I have not tried this yet, but I suppose you could make this using water throughout, and more spices. If you have problems getting the beer can into the bird, try practising with the bird oiled up (with olive oil) and the can unopened. You have to get it up past the first few breast bones, and the bird has to sit on the end of the can. Pull the tail bone out toward the back. It will be obvious with a little practise.

Based on 1 reviews

Customer Reviews

Tom E

‘De-grease’ ? I think it should be de-glaze. Also, the ingredient list looks formidable , but it is for the turkey, the soup, and the salad. This is an example of good economics – it makes a lot of stuff for little $.

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