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