Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grill Roasted Turkey Breast

It smells as good roasting on the grill as it does in your oven on Thanksgiving.  So why not prepare a turkey breast this summer?  It really is one of the simpliest things you can do on a grill and it comes out so juicy and delicious you'll wonder why you hadn't tried it sooner.

When grilling a turkey breast, I find it is best to purchase one with the bone in as it makes for more flavorful and juicy meat.  I simply buttered the breast and then used a poultry seasoning I picked up at Williams-Sonoma.  But any favorite seasoning will do just fine. 

Every time I make chicken or turkey I use a dry brine to prepare the bird before cooking. Same goes for this turkey breast. 24 hours before your want to roast the breast, slip your hand under the skin and gently loosen the skin. Then using a course salt, rub a two tablespoons under the skin (one on each side of the breast. Then lightly salt the outside of the skin. Place the breast, uncovered, on a plate in your refrigerator and let it rest. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to roast and butter and season the outside of the skin and inside the cavity.

Once you have the breast seasoned, you need to determine your roasting method.  As my grill has a spit (rotisserie), I like to use it whenever I can as the constantly turning meat is a good way for the meat to self-baste.  But you don't have to use this method.  Alternatively you can place a drip pan in the center of your grill (below the grates) and place the breast bone-side down (breast meat up) directly on your grill grates.  This will permit the breast to roast and drippings will be collected below and make a wonderful gravy or salad dressing base.  If the pan doesn't have sufficient drippings to keep them from burning, add some water from time to time.  Some fresh-roasted turkey breast atop a salad dressed with a turkey/vinegar/oil dressing is really all you need on a hot summer night. 

A large turkey breast will take about two hours to roast using either the rotisserie or the standard technique.  Roast with the grill lid closed and watch the grill temperature keeping it in the 325-375F range.  If using the rotisserie, set the rotisserie burner to low and light only the burners at the far ends of the grill to keep the skin from burning.  Take the meat temperature using an instant read thermomenter after about one and a half hours.  The breast meat should have a temperature around 165F when you remove it from the grill.  Let it sit for 20 minutes as meat temps continue to rise.  You can serve it after this or even wait for up to an hour and the meat will still be warm and juicy.

To finish my meal, I added some potatoes to the grill one hour into roasting and while the turkey breast rested I grilled some asparagus.  It really is simple to cook an entire dinner on your grill, keeping your house cool and eliminating pots/pans that require clean-up later.

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