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This Story Originally Appeared On sunset.com

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Shelly Strazis; Styling: Valerie Aikman-Smith

Recipe Summary

total:
3 hrs 30 mins
Yield:
Serves 16 to 18, with leftovers
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Make brine: In a large pot, heat 1 qt. water with salt and sugar, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat, add 5 qts. cold water, garlic, cinnamon, and chiles, and let cool to room temperature.

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  • Remove leg truss from turkey; discard. Remove neck, tail, and giblets. Discard tail; save the rest, chilled, for Mole Gravy. Pull off and discard lumps of fat. Rinse bird inside and out. Lower turkey into brine (see tips below). Chill, covered, 12 hours.

  • Thanksgiving Day: Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat (about 325°). For charcoal: Light 40 briquets on firegrate. When coals are spotted with ash, 20 minutes, bank evenly on opposite sides of firegrate and let burn to medium-low. Set a metal or foil drip pan (about 9 by 15 in. and 2 1/2 in. deep) between coal mounds and fill with 1/2 in. warm water. To each mound of coals, add 5 briquets now and every 30 minutes while cooking. Oil cooking grate and set in place. For gas: Set the metal or foil drip pan on center burner(s) and fill with 1/2 in. warm water. Turn burners except for one(s) under drip pan to high, close lid, and heat 10 minutes. Reduce heat for active burners to 325°. Oil cooking grate and set in place.

  • Remove turkey from brine, rinse, and pat dry. Discard brine. Tuck wing tips under turkey.

  • Make rub: Combine ground chiles and oregano. Rub turkey all over with oil, then sprinkle evenly inside and out with seasoning.

  • Set turkey, breast up, on cooking grate over drip pan. Grill, covered, until a meat thermometer inserted straight down through thickest part of breast to the bone registers 160°, 2 to 3 hours; as turkey cooks, use foil to tent any areas that start to get too dark.

  • Tip turkey so that cavity juices run into drip pan, holding turkey with oven mitts. Transfer turkey to a cutting board; save pan juices for gravy. Tent turkey with foil and let rest in a warm place 15 to 30 minutes while you make gravy.

  • Carve and serve with gravy.

  • Turkey Tips

  • Brining. It's the secret to a moist bird. Brine the turkey, breast down, in an oversize pot such as boiling-water canner (if it fits in the fridge). Or use an ice chest. Bag turkey in a turkey brining bag (available in grocery stores and from surlatable.com). Put bagged bird in chest, pour brine over turkey, and seal bag tightly. Add ice to cover.

  • Tying. For the most even cooking, leave turkey legs loose. Or if you prefer a tidy look, tie them.

  • Garnishing. Add color with herbs, a banana leaf, and fruit like kumquats.

  • Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1/4 lb. serving of white and dark meat with skin.

Chef's Notes

Note: Total time does not include overnight brining.

Nutrition Facts

253 calories; calories from fat 42%; protein 32g; fat 12g; saturated fat 3.2g; carbohydrates 2.5g; fiber 0.5g; sodium 731mg; cholesterol 93mg.
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