friends. I have a recipe for you. I have a recipe that has SO much flavor, it’s crazy.
Last summer, Scott and I bought a Big green Egg. For those who don’t know what that is, Its a Grill/smoker/pizza oven.
It’s a dream. I’ve wanted one for years.
Since owning this sweet little darling, I have become more adventurous with my outdoor cooking. I actually cook outdoors all winter long.
Snow storm? Kewl…. let’s fire that baby up a get a steak on there!
I was slow to start to smoke things, but since I’ve actually learned, I’m hooked. ( or as my friend from River Cat Chili says, I’m smokin’ crazy)
Since Scott was home doing taxes this weekend ( big time boo 😦 ) I was able to get out of the house to go food shopping ( must be something wrong with me,becauseI REALLY enjoy grocery shopping! )
I didn’t have a plan
I didn’t have a list
I was just so excited to get out of the house after being pup-bound all week
I stumbled upon a half turkey breast and that was it. I knew what I was doing.
I began by brining the turkey ta-ta.
I used kosher salt,( 1/2 cup)
agave ( 1/8 cup ) ( you can swap out for sweetener of your choice)
and herbs de Provence ( 1 tablespoon )
If you want to make this, use what you have, just start with the salt/ water/ sugar mixture
I boil about 1/2 cup water, mix with the salt and agave , then add about a gallon of ice water to chill mixture and spices of choice.
In the past I’ve added various citrus, fresh herbs.. use what you have.. make it your own!
Brine turkey breast for 24 hours in the fridge.
about an hour or two before cooking, soak wood chips in water ( you need the water to create the steam to create the smoke 😉 ) I found pecan wood chunks and that was what I used. Check your hardware store, they are lousy with different flavors…. all of which I want to try
I set up my smoker so that it was at a steady 225 degrees
NOTE * if you do not have a smoker, you can bring your grill to this low temp or your oven and soak wood chips of choice and make a foil packet with the chips and a bit of water. this will create the smoke and as long as you grill top is closed and over door is shut, the smoke will create a smoky taste in your food. Just make sure that the temp stays low.. 250 max.
I inserted a meat thermometer ( an absolute necessity )
and place turkey breast on grill, add the soaked ships to the fire and shut the lid… and inhale.
( your neighbors will come out of the woodwork 😉 )
The finished temp on the turkey ( or any poultry, including ground) needs to be 165 degrees.
When the temp reached 155, I placed some Peach- whiskey jam in am oven safe stoneware dish and place next to turkey so that it can melt a little
you can buy it Here or you can use peach jam and add your own whiskey.
It is a bit on the pricey side, but trust me, this is like no other jam that you’ve ever tried. And a little bit goes a loong way.
remove stoneware and add some carrots
I peeled baby carrots , tossed them in olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs de Provence and place around the turkey
close lid and when temp comes up to 165, using tongs, remove turkey from smoker ( don’t pull the thermometer out just yet )
Place under broiler for about 4 minutes to get a final crispy crust
place on cutting board to rest and close lid to finish cooking carrots ( I like mine al dente. cook to what your preference) when cooked to your desired crunch, glaze carrots with remaining melted jam
look at that baby!
When ready to serve, cut the entire breast off of the bone by carefully insert knife along the breast bone, then slice horizontally so that each piece has a small bit of that amazing glazed crust
here’s a napkin for you 😉
A friend asked me recently what was the biggest thing that I took away from culinary school
I’ve been thinking a lot about this. The number one thing that I learned?
I love to write. One of the core classes that I had to take was English Lit and I was scared to death. I hadn’t written since high school ( I was 32 when I attended J & W ) My first paper that I had to write was about myself. I approached it in the 3rd person and wrote a summary of my life on 2 pages
When the professor handed it back to me he said, ” I’ve been teaching for over 30 years, this was one of the best papers that I have ever had the pleasure of grading”
those were his exact words. I’ll never forget them.
From then on I looked forward to every writing assignment.
The second thing that i took away.. not so much recipes, but Flavor Profiles. I understand what flavors complement each other. How to take simple ingredients and bring them together to make some tasty food.
Like here.. you notice that I used the herb de Provence in both the turkey brine and the carrots. I used the same glaze on both.
I made a kale salad to go along with this, and added golden raisins and slivered almonds, adding about a teaspoon of the jam to the dressing to bring the whole dish together.
I learned how to make a dish mine and to have fun in the kitchen!
So go ahead, use some of my recipes as a guide, but fins a way to put your personal touch on them. You’ll start to see how much fun it can be and you’ll go from making dinner to making a little bit of love on a plate.