Friday, October 28, 2011

Recipe: Cranberry-Smoked Turkey Breast - Day #2

I *did* say I was posting this in damn-near Real-Time, didn't I?!

Well, my plans for Turkey-Breast-Smoking got a little Bufoobalized when DH awoke with severe back / kidney pain this morning. We made a quick trip to the E/R (which ended up taking ~5 hours). No specific diagnosis, unfortunately (it wasn't kidney stones, anyway). But it seems it's not gonna be Fatal!

Anyway, it blew a big ol' honkin' hole in my day! As we drove home, I figured I was gonna just take the *entire* day off (we can take sick-days for tending to sickly family members), but somebody scheduled me for an afternoon meeting (and I had a veritable boatload of emails when I got back!). So I ended up working almost a full day...

I did manage to sneak out for about 20 minutes to dig-out and clean-up the smoker...

Looks like crap on the outside - but the bugs/spiderwebs/old, charred wood-chunks got cleared out of the inside!

The Turkey was supposed to "brine" for appx 12 hours. Ended up being a helluva lot longer than that!!!

Nevertheless, when we got home, I removed and "flipped" the breast over (since it was wanting to float in the brine, and the top-portion wasn't getting saturated adequately!). I let it soak for another hour-ish while I prepped the wood-chunks (details below)...

On the Plus Side: It *did* thaw out! (in fact, I moved it from the garage to the fridge before we left for the hospital).
On the Down Side: When you over-brine a turkey by soaking it in cranberry-juice, it tends to turn a bit pink!!!

So, when it was all said and done, I took the breast out of the Zip-Lock Baggie, rinsed it off in the sink then tamped it dry. Then I spritzed it with Spray-On Canola Oil and hit it with a dry-rub...

Coated with dry-rub... Looks a bit better!
Dry Rub:
  • 2 TBS McCormick Grill-Mates Chicken Rub, to which I added:
  • 1-1/2 tsp Rubbed Sage
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic (dried - ICK!)
  • 1 tsp Thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp ground Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika

(I totally cheated with the "add-ons!" This was actually a McCormick "Recipe Inspirations" package for "Apple and Sage Pork Chops" that was on-sale at the grocery store).

Prior to rubbing the bird, I grabbed a few chunks of Apple Smoker-Wood and tossed 'em in a large aluminum pan, filled with water. I wanted 'em to get nice and wet so they'd smoke like crazy... The wood should soak for appx 20 minutes. Then you wrap the wood-chunks in heavy-duty aluminum foil; poke some holes in the foil; toss the foil-wrapped wood-packets into a smoker box (Metal box with holes in it - you could just as easily use a disposable aluminum-foil pan); then put the woodsy stuff directly on top of the electric burner in the smoker.

Anyway, The Plan was to pre-heat the smoker to "as high as it would get" (evidently, my Brinkmann Model is notoriously under-powered - but whatEVER!), then plunk the wood and turkey breast into the smoker for appx 3-4 hours (with a meat thermometer - duh!).

The Reality was: My Afternoon Meeting, while very productive, took waaaaaaay longer than anticipated. So No Turkeys were Smoked today. Boo!!!

Sooooo... Turkey Breast got bagged in a new Ziplock Baggie, and tossed in the fridge. I think I'll be firing up the smoker (and - hell! - maybe even the KILN!) tomorrow...

Stay tuned................................

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