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new Thanksgiving recipes… for next year

I don’t know how other bloggers get recipes up for the holidays before the holiday! I suppose I could write up this recipe and date it to post in early November 2017, but that seems like much more forethought than I ever want to have to think about!

applewood-smoked-turkey

Instead, I’ll post this and another Thanksgiving recipe, along with my Thanksgiving tabelscapes this week and remind you about them next year, that sounds more reasonable and realistic to me.

bags

Two notes: The first concerns the brine bag in this recipe: While shopping, I was in a hurry and could not immediately find a brine bag at the grocery store. Instead of asking for assistance, I spotted slow-cooker liners and thought, “They’ll work!”

Yeah, not so much! The liner was a smidgen too small. I could barely gather it all up and seal the bag. I was paranoid about the bag opening and leaking, so I put it into another bag. I still wasn’t secure in the leakage possibilities, so I put that into another bag. By then, I’d used 3 of the 4 bags in the box, so I thought, “What the heck!” and put all that into another bag! All ended well, as the four bags held and not a drop escaped.

My advice – for peace of mind – search out and use a true brine bag!

brine-mix

Second: I was at Cost Plus World Market the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I found a yummy brine mix. I used 1 ¼ cups of it in place of the salt, peppercorns, and Italian seasoning in the recipe below. If you come across a good-looking mix, you can do the same or just follow the recipe as written.

bourbon-applewood-smoked-turkey-breast

Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast

Bourbon Brine

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup cold bourbon
  • 5 to 6 cups cold water
  • Brine bag

1 turkey breast (about 7 pounds), well rinsed and patted dry

Drip Pan Liquid

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup of fresh herbs
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods (optional)
  • Applewood smoking chips

brine-mix

Brine: Combine all the ingredients of the brine in a large pitcher or pot and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved.

brine-ready

Line a large pot with a brine bag and add the brine. Then add the turkey breast, breastbone-side down, cavity-side up.

brine-bag

Add additional cold water if needed to cover the turkey. Close and seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

Soak the applewood chips in cold water overnight.

brined-turkey

An hour before smoking, remove the turkey from the refrigerator, rinse the turkey, inside and out, then pat dry. Dry it well.

applewood-chips

Allow to sit out to come to almost room temperature.

drip-pan

Drip Pan: Meanwhile, add the drip pan ingredients to the drip pan and place in the smoker, directly beneath where the turkey breast will sit. The drip pan will provide steam and help keep the turkey moist while smoking.

Preheat the smoker to 300-325 degrees, and add the smoking chunks.

smoke

Place turkey breast on smoker rack, breast bone facing up.

blow-gfi

Cover with the lid and let the smoker do its thing.

move-it

The outlet I was using on the back patio kept blowing, so I had to move the smoker close to a window and run the plug inside the house.

plug-in

Whatever works!

almost-there

It will smoke for about 30 to 35 minutes per pound. Refresh the wood chips and the water in the drip pan, as needed. After about 3 hours, begin testing for doneness with an instant-read thermometer until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of around 160-165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast.

bourbon-applewood-smoked-turkey-breast

Remove the turkey breast from the smoker, cover with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Serves 8

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1 comment

1 Tram Mai { 11.30.16 at 7:20 AM }

That was a DEEEELICIOUS turkey!!! Must’ve been the 4 bags you used!! 😉

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