Saturday, November 14, 2009

Turkey Injection

We did a quick test run on a turkey breast for Thanksgiving today. I've done a lot of different turkey preparations over the past few years. One even involved brining the turkey for 2 days in a bourbon, pickling spice & maple syrup concoction. They've been good, but one of my favorites is also one of the easiest.

It is simply an injection of equal parts of honey, white wine and butter. Combine over medium heat, let it cool slightly and then inject it in about a dozen spots all around the breast. Sometimes I'll put a spring of fresh rosemary in the injection while it's heating, to infuse the herb's oils into the injection.

Reserve about a 1/2 cup of the mixture to use as a baste once the bird hits 155f in the breast, it'll give you a gorgeous and tasty skin.

The turkey breast was juicy and silky rich in flavor. Not sure if I'm going to do a whole bird or two breasts, because right now our planned guests all prefer white meat.

I have noticed that what I season, brine, or inject the turkey is not as crucial as how I smoke it. It's always juicy and a nice crisp skin as long as I handle business on the smoker. Here's the cooking log for today's cook, it finished early:

We nailed some roasted tarragon carrots w/ brown sugar and rosemary & Parmesan potatoes. We'll be making those for sure.

I also tried a chorizo and rice stuffing. It was very good, but I wouldn't call it "stuffing" as much as a baked rice. I'm going to try tweaking that one again before the big day.

Question: Are you doing a practice cook before Thanksgiving or are you just going to wing it?

22 comments:

  1. As long as you stay away from giving any of us injections...I am leaving that the way I just wrote it, LOL... I ordered a bourbon red from a local farm for our T-Day, and not sure what the heck to do yet...so I may steal your bourbon, and injection idea...leave the bottle on the front porch please :)

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  2. Man, I haven't cooked a turkey in years because...well, long story. But in the past I never practiced - turkey is way too expensive up here for that!

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  3. Wish I could have been a guinea pig for this deliciou sounding trial run.

    For Turkey day, we do 1/2 and 1/2. tried and trues along with some new dishes. Always a new punch, spiked of course.

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  4. That is one beautiful bird! The honey, white wine and butter injections sounds delicious!

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  5. I've practiced for thirty years! If and when I inject, I do it from the cavity side of the bird, leaving the skin unpunctured..

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  6. This really sounds good. I've never tried an injection. Might have to consider it this year. Great photos by the way.

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  7. You make a great point about injecting, BuffaloDick. Ha ha ha ha, "point".

    No but seriously, I had not considered doing them that way, good idea.

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  8. We're here to help each other.. and don't think I haven't learned a trick or two from you!

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  9. I'm thinking the cook might need a few injections too

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  10. I'll have the rosemary and parmesan tatties please, with orange and cumin carrots and maybe maybe a turkey roulade ...but then again, I'm not American...my tie to the States - kids at an American school!

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  11. Holy Cow! Chris this bird looks divine. Thanksgiving at your house is going to be over the top deliicous. Nice!

    P.S. I smiled at your comment on my blog. Pretty funny.

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  12. Mmm. Sounds so good.

    We are heading to a friends house this year - no cooking for me!

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  13. The orange and cumin carrots sound heavenly! I wish I could say that I made several versions of thanksgiving, but I don't.

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  14. WOW, I love the honey idea for the injection. I have already practiced, but have one more to try before the big day. We just got our birds at 40 cents a pound, so I have three in my freezer right now. We are doing a neighborhood thing with three other childless couples (or in my case, empty nesters). Gonna have ribs, turkey, and a stuffed pork loin.

    Had it all planned, till I saw your honey injection idea... hmmmmmmm

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  15. I make the same thing year in year out. Everytime I try to get creatvie, it flops, or everyone just cries for the same old, same old. Also, I love the new look too!!!

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  16. I usually like to roast poultry hot and dry, but these results have me rethinking that... GREG

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  17. Could one use this as an injection for a deep-fried bird as well

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  18. Im going to try the white wine, honey, and butter with the rosemary infusion this thanksgiving but deep fry the turkey,finishing the bird on the grill

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  19. We will be injecting a turkey breast for a trial run, as we have never injected any of our smoked meats. I'm anxious, hubby is excited. We are going to do a bourbon honey butter injection as well as the recipe here as a trial run today. Will share the results.

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  20. been injecting turkey for a few years and it works out wonderful. we put a bunch of dif. spices in a blender mix with the wine and butter and strain thru a cheese cloth so all spices are in the meat. mmmmmm turns out awsome

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  21. Wheres the recipe for the tarragon carrots???

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