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?