I have been making this turkey for many years and it always is stunning! Hope you will take the time to try it and let me know how you liked it. It does work just as well with a whole turkey as a breast! For my Yucatecan friends, the Poblano Chocolate Mole sauce follows on a separate posting…
Funky Bird (a.k.a. Southwestern Turkey Breast)
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped yellow onions
- 2 oranges, halved
- 2 jalapenos, minced (with their seeds)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
- 1 (6 1/2 pound) whole turkey breast
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe follows
- Poblano Chocolate Mole, recipe follows
In a large non reactive container, (I use a large clear garbage bag with NO deodorizers and if necessary, put it outside if you are in Canada in a cooler in your garage) combine lemon juice, orange juice, kosher salt, light brown sugar, yellow onions, oranges, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, and oregano with 1 gallon water and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Put the turkey in a large colander and rinse under cold, running water, then add the turkey breast to the brine, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and put it breast side up in a large, heavy roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels. (DISCARD ALL OF THE BRINE!!!)
Rub the turkey with vegetable oil and sprinkle both sides with Essence (see below) Roast until deep golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F., about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.