Grilled Turkey BreastOne of the most frustrating things about cooking turkey is the sheer largess of meat you have to contend with. Portion-wise it's a nightmare and it limits how far you might be willing to experiment with it.
This logistical issue has defied my recent desire to cook the bird due to my marathon training. Turkey is an ultra-lean meat but also a fantastic source of protein. Ideal runner food.
This recipe I culled from Cooks Illustrated provides a solution by just using the bone-in breast portion of the bird. Even better, if you double it, you have enough for a decent number of folks and can use the carcass for a quick broth.
The problem with breast meat is that it tends to dry out on you due to it's aforementioned leanness. This approach solves that by indirect barbecue cooking. Moreover, the smoky flavor and rich taste of the meat makes this an ideal test subject for any number of sauces as well.
Remove the skin from the turkey then cut the breast meat away from the bone. Discard the carcass.
Cover breast meat evenly with salt. Place one breast cut-side-up on cutting board then the second breast cut-side-down on top of it, thick end to tapered end. Tie lengthwise with cooking string, then crosswise at 1 inch intervals starting at the center, then the ends, then filling in the rest.
Place on wire rack and refrigerate for one hour.
Start coals and, when started, place in a two-level fire under one half of the grill. When ready to start cooking the turkey, place soaked Hickory wood chips on the coals.
Remove turkey from the refrigerator and slather with olive oil then pepper. Place turkey over the empty section of the grill. Close grill lid.
Cook for half an hour then add additional coals and more soaked wood chips.
After another 20 to 30 minutes check interior temperature of the meat. If at 150 degrees move meat directly over coals. Let brown for 2 to 3 minutes and then rotate 90 degrees. Continue till completely browned. Remove and set on a cutting board to rest for at least 20 minutes. Cut into .5-inch slices and serve.
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