Monday, August 9, 2010

Turkey Injection

I have often heard people say that Benjamin Franklin had supported the turkey over the bald eagle as the national bird of the United States of America. His actual quote was,

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
A lesser known fact is that shortly after making this comment, Thomas Jefferson said,

"Hey Benji! Come taste this delicious blend of eleven herbs and spices I came up with. It would taste exceptional on poultry."
Seriously though, it is a shame that we don't eat more turkey outside of the holiday season. It is lean, flavorful, and is flexible for a variety of preparations.

Usually, I like to brine my turkeys and chickens to infuse flavors and enhance juiciness. But sometimes I don't have 8-12 hours to do that. When I don't have the time to brine, I turn to injections because they are direct and fast.

Here is my favorite turkey injection, one that we have used for years with very good results. I used it tonight with a 7 lb Honeysuckle White turkey breast on the rotisserie.

Turkey Injection
source: Nibble Me This

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup wine
1/2 cup honey
Your choice of fresh herbs -- tonight I used 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 2 whole sage leaves
1 Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp garlic pepper
1 Tbsp salt

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan and then add the wine, honey, and herbs. Let simmer for 5 minutes to allow the herb oils to blend in. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Remove the herbs and reserve. You will have about 1 cup of injection/baste. Divide this into 1/2 cup for injection and 1/2 cup for baste. Chop up the herbs & parsley and add to the baste portion.

Use a meat syringe and inject the injection in spots all over the turkey breast. Don't forget to inject from inside the cavity as well as the outside to get good coverage throughout the meat.

Roast the turkey at 325f until it hits an internal temp of 160f degrees. You can do this in your oven, indirect on a grill, or tonight, I did it direct with a rotisserie on the grill. The advantage is that it cooks quicker with a rotisserie because of the direct heat. It only took about an hour and 30 minutes.

Make sure that you divide the baste portion of the wine/butter/honey/herb mixture into two portions during the basting process because....

The buttery herb baste helps the skin roast to a golden brown and provides flavor that you can see.

This is the easiest way that I know how to make turkey breasts that you'll be proud to serve, not hide under gravy! It's easy and comes out perfect every time.

(Sorry for the lack of pictures, I was short handed and short on time!)

Seasoned Turkey


  1. Looks great. Now I need an injector and maybe a rotisserie would be a great new toy.

  2. You are absolutely right, why don't we enjoy turkey more often than just the holidays? Your turkey is proof that it can be just as simple as putting any other meat on the grill. Your flavor injection is awesome.

    Have I told you lately how much I enjoy your blog? I do!

  3. It's great that you are conscientious about killing people with raw poultry - one of the things I love about your cooking. Truly. And a little flare up during a bbq makes it extreme cooking, right? Okay, now seriously. That injection sounds sublime - butter and those beautiful herbs? It sounds fabulous!

  4. I love turkey, regardless of the season. My only problem is that the mind tries to trick me into thinking it's November when I make a turkey breast on the grill, even though it's 90 degrees outside. Not to mention that I always want stuffing with it.

  5. This is genius. If you don't have time, then go get the injection. Love it! If you wont mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post so it will appear in the Foodista pages and it's all set, Thanks!

  6. this must tasted really good. love your videos btw. i know i've said that before but really. you are such a pro and I got a lot to learn from you when I get my own kitchen one day. which is like 3-4yrs down the road :( sigh..

    have a lovely day

  7. I really appreciate this recipe because I received an injector as a gift at Christmas and have never used it. I will be making this. Don't have a rotisserie, so will have to be oven or grill. How long do you think it would take with indirect on a grill?

  8. I'm with you! I wouldn't mind eating turkey as much as I eat chicken..I love that you used honey!

  9. This would be perfect for me to practice injection-giving on! Is it sad that that was the first thing I thought of?

    11 herbs and spices. yes.

  10. You are becoming Mr. Video! Why don't you turn in an audition tape to be the Next Food Network Star. I think they are taking tapes throughout the rest of the month. GREG

  11. Looks wonderful and yes, I agree with Greg - go for it Chris! You'd be a winner for sure!

  12. This looks fabulous! I have never used an injector before...I have always been afraid that all of the holes would allow the juices to leak out during cooking. I will have to give it a try!

    Oh-and I agree with other commenters regarding submitting a video for the Next Food Network Star. Your videos are great...I think you should go for it!

    Kim in MD

  13. I never think to make turkey except for on Thanksgiving. This looks amazing Chris!


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