For a smaller Thanksgiving gathering, or for lovers of white meat only, these herb-rubbed turkey breasts scale down the size of the bird but deliver on big flavor.
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- Yield:serves 8
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:11 hours
- For the Brine:
- 3 quarts ice cold water
- 2/3 cup Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 whole turkey breasts, about 6 to 7 pounds
- For the Herb Butter
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 medium chunk of apple wood or other light smoking wood
- 1 disposable foil tray
- Type of fire: three-zone split
- Grill heat: Medium
To make the brine: Whisk together water, salt, and sugar in a large container until salt and sugar are dissolved. Submerge turkey breasts in brine. Place container in refrigerator and brine for 8 to 12 hours.
Right before removing turkey from brine, stir together butter, garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram, mustard, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper in a small bowl.
Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. Using fingers, gently separate skin from meat underneath breasts. Spread 1/3 of herb butter under each breast. Spread remaining 1/3 of herb butter all over outside of breasts.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on either side of the charcoal grate and place a foil pan between the two piles of coals. Place wood chunk on one pile of coals. Cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place turkey breasts on grill grate situated over foil pan, cover, positioning top air vent opposite of wood chunk. Cook until an instant read thermometer registers 160°F in the thickest part of the breast, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove turkey from grill and allow to rest, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove breasts from bone, slice, and serve.