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“Whiskey Glazed Wild Turkey Breast”

I know you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seats, clicking refresh, just dying to know what I did with all of that turkey meat I hauled off the field and field dressed. Right?

Right?…. Is this thing on?

The moment has come! First up, is Whiskey Glazed Turkey Breast. Turkey and whiskey, what could not be good about it?

Here is the cast of characters: Turkey breast, whiskey, honey, orange juice, orange zest, turkey stock, and my friend, butter.

You start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F, and then melting butter on the stove top in a nice heavy bottomed skillet.

Once it begins to bubble, you add the turkey meat, breast side down. Resist the temptation to move it as it browns. You want to get some nice color on there and you don’t want the skin to tear. Moving it too soon will tear the skin. Once things are nice and brown you can rotate it a bit to get the outer areas.

Then you flip it over.

I highly recommend keeping the skin on your bird. Turkey feathers are quite easy to pluck as long as you do just a few at a time so the skin doesn’t tear. It is better to leave the skin on after you’ve harvested one, since attempting to remove it while the feathers are still on can result in a feathery mess. Nevertheless, if you don’t have skin on your turkey breast, simply layer it with bacon or lard before cooking. Most importantly, it is essential that you brine the breast meat before cooking it. I have a friend that uses a brine of simple filtered water from the sea, which has ample salt, then after 24 hours, switches to a bath of unsalted purified water. Or if you’re not feeling quite as adventurous, you can also use my homemade brine recipe.

Now you are going to deglaze the pan with your stock and scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Once you’ve done that, turn off the heat and put the turkey in the oven covered in foil and let it cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan you melt the remaining butter.

Add the honey. From my bees! BZZzz. I can’t wait for this year’s honey harvest.

Mix the honey in well as it begins to bubble. You want to keep the heat low so the honey doesn’t over caramelize and burn.

Then add the whiskey.

Then the orange juice.

Then the orange zest.

Then the cayenne.

Let it bubble as you whisk until it is thick and a nice deep orange. Or do they call that burnt sienna?

Brush half of the glaze onto the turkey.

Until it is nice and blanketed in burnt sienna goo. Then cover it again with foil, and return it to the oven.

Then add the other half about 20 minutes later. This time, leave the foil off when you return it to the oven and turn the temperature up to 400 degrees F.

15-20 minutes later the internal temperature should read 140-150 degrees F. I highly recommend a digital probe thermometer, those are much more accurate than the dial thermometers. I’m just sayin’.

And there she is! A beautiful juicy tender turkey breast, with a sweet and tangy whiskey glaze.

What are some of your favorite ways to make turkey? Feel free to leave recipes or links in the comments.

 

“Whiskey Glazed Wild Turkey Breast”

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

“Whiskey Glazed Wild Turkey Breast”

Also try: upland game birds

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 turkey breast, skin on and brined
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup turkey stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In an ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, heat two tablespoons of butter over medium-high until it begins to bubble. Sprinkle the skin of the turkey breast with salt and pepper. Place the breast skin-side down into the butter, sprinkle the underside with salt and pepper, and let the skin brown for about 5 minutes. Turn it over and add the stock. Cover with foil or a lid and transfer to the oven.
  3. In a separate skillet, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the honey until well incorporated. Add the whiskey along with the orange juice, orange rind and cayenne and whisk together. Set on low heat and let the mixture reduce by half. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. Once the turkey has cooked for 10 minutes, brush with half of the glaze and cover with the foil. 20 minutes later, brush the remaining glaze on, leave the foil off and increase the temperature to 400 degrees F. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reads 140-150 degrees F.
  5. Remove the turkey from the oven. Cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
http://georgiapellegrini.com/2011/04/22/recipes/whiskey-glazed-turkey-breast/

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Comments

  1. Hi! We are trying this again tonight! I think last time we “chatted” the problem was that some of the brine was used in the cooking which created a way too salty turkey. One question, do you rinse the turkey after taking it from the brine or just let it rest?

    If you are interested in some duck hunting on the south shore of Long Island, please let us know. We have access to one of the historical and few Bay Houses on the bay. It’s an oasis for hunting, fishing, good food and reflection (and no pink bedrooms!!!, just bunks).

    We have a few duck breasts in the freezer from last January – any suggestions?
    Thanks.
    Maggie

    • I don’t usually rinse it, just pat it dry. Make sure you’re using Kosher salt, it is less concentrated. I would recommend some duck prosciutto! Recipe is on my website.

  2. This looks amazing! Can it be made with chicken breast?

  3. Sorry to be a dummy, but…what do you do with the stock? Make gravy?

    Thanks!
    Mary Anne

    • Oh yes, gravy would be excellent. You can also use it as a base to make soup or to make rice rather than using water. Stock is wonderful to have on hand in the freezer.

  4. How many pounds of turkey breast did you use for this recipe?

  5. Georgia
    found this recipe over the weekend as we bagged a couple of Tom’s on saturday. brined the breasts as suggested and made one change to your instruction’s – we drained the majority of the broth before the last 20 minutes and increasing the oven temp to 400. This allowed me to make gravy on the stove top and keep the glaze liquid with the bird for final reduction and use after it rests.

    As a whole the meal turned out great and will use this recipe again.

    One additional suggestion – We found that you can make a tasty turkey guisada by boning out the thights, legs, and the meat chuck at the back of the bird’s spine. give it a try sometime.

    -michael

  6. That all sounds amazing! Good for you!