[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

There are a lot of "crazy" people out there who only eat white meat turkey. Why someone would confine themselves to the inferior portion of the bird (at least in my opinion) is beyond me, but I know so many whose preference is clearly for the breasts that I kinda feel like the insane one.

Knowing this, I wanted to challenge myself to make turkey breasts as good as they can be. To do this, I picked up a bone-in breasts-only cut of turkey—which is also great for those hosting smaller Thanksgiving dinners that don't require a full bird—and set to making them incredibly.

In my world, this always starts with a brine. After a 12-hour soak in a standard salt and sugar brine, I gave the turkey an extra burst of flavor by rubbing an herb butter under each breast and on top of the skin. The breasts were then grill-roasted—you may need to add some height to your grill to accommodate the turkey—with a chunk of cherrywood set on the coals to infuse even more flavor into the meat.

OK, so I'll have to admit that these turkey breasts were pretty fantastic. The meat was incredibly moist with a light smokiness, and the compound butter filled each bite with a diverse herbal mix that made it interesting in the best sense possible.

So am I a white meat convert now? Well, I'm not ready to release my death grip on legs and thighs, but I can at least say turkey breasts done in this fashion are worth defending and I'd more than welcome them on my Thanksgiving table.

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.


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