Friday, June 27, 2014

Turkey on the Barbie

June 21, 2014

Grill Roasted Turkey Breast
Potato Salad 
Fresh Green Beans
Cranberry Relish
Parker House Rolls

Grill Roasted Turkey Breast for Gas Grill from Cook's Country

Thanksgiving isn't about turkey and food, it's about tradition and family. Nonetheless, we don't  have turkey for dinner once a year just for tradition's sake, we must like it. Why not have it more often, twice a year or more? Last year I grill roasted a boneless turkey breast and it was delicious. Roasting a turkey on the grill makes sense during the warmer month rather than heating up your house using the oven. It also makes sense to cook less than a whole turkey when you have only a few people to eat it. Thus this developing new tradition at our house of having grill roasted turkey in the summer.

The recipe specified a whole turkey breast weighing about 5 pounds. The market had only split (half) breasts so I bought two, about 4½ pounds. The night before cooking they were rubbed, under and over the skin, with a mixture of salt and brown sugar, wrapped with plastic, and placed in the refrigerator. When it was time to cook, a rub of ground black pepper and brown sugar was applied and the breasts were placed on the gas grill. The grill had been prepared with a hot side, which had an aluminum foil packet with hickory chips, and a cool side which had the turkey. The burners were adjusted to maintain the temperature around 350° and the turkey was cooked until its internal temperature reached 160°.  This took about 75 minutes. The turkey rested for 20 minutes before being sliced and served.

Some of the side dishes you would expect to see on the Thanksgiving table. The cranberry relish was made using berries that were purchased in November and stored in the freezer. (Grind 3 cups of berries with a whole orange, peel included, then stir in a large pinch of salt and sugar to taste, about 1½ cups. ) The rolls were made as brown and serve rolls several months ago, they only had to be thawed and heated in the oven. Potato salad was bought at a supermarket deli for a pot luck dinner the night before and it was a good choice for this dinner. Fresh green beans were cooked in boiling water until tender then tossed with melted butter and sliced almonds.

Once again the turkey came out very good. It was tender and moist with a hint of smoky flavor. It was well seasoned and not overly salty following its long contact with the salt rub. Moreover it was easy to fix, requiring minimal preparation time and minimal time monitoring it while it cooked. The side dishes were good complements and none of them required a lot of work to make, either. I wonder if there is a recipe for grill roasted dark meat?

Each half breast provided about 6 servings of turkey. One evening we made turkey panini sandwiches. A thick slice of meat was placed on a roll with some cranberry relish and the sandwich was cooked in a panini press. The sandwiches were very good, the best part was the turkey which was tender and juicy, not at all dry or tough as leftover turkey can often be.

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