Where There's Smoke

Hardy's has a slow-cooked reason to gobble

Corries Hardy has made it his mission to save Thanksgiving from dry poultry.

Hardy–the man behind the giant smoker on weekends at Hardy's Divine Ribs & Chicken in Bethesda–is putting his skills to use this season, serving smoked whole turkeys by special order.

While traditional roasted birds may end up with a photogenic, golden skin, they're also typically dry, overcooked or just plain flavorless.

Hardy's birds ($55), however, are prepared in the low-and-slow Southern tradition, giving them deep, smoky flavor, with evenly cooked light and dark meat.

Rather than brine the birds, Hardy seasons his poultry with a secret blend of spices. He then hickory-smokes the 13- to 17-pound birds in the giant, barrel-shaped portable grill that he tends each weekend, grilling brisket, ribs, pulled pork and whole chickens behind the Montgomery Farm Women's Cooperative Market.

He only plans to smoke a limited number of birds, so order now for pickup on Wednesday. As an added bonus, Hardy's ultra-tender turkey stands up well against stuffing and cranberry sauce, so you can count on excellent post-Turkey Day sandwiches.

Hardy's Divine Ribs & Chicken, 7155 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 240-893-3182 or hardysq.com (maps/directions); contact Corries Hardy at hardyribschicken@yahoo.com to place your order