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Grilled Slices of Back Door Smoked Turkey with Yams

Grilled Slices of Back Door Smoked Turkey with Yams

From: Chef Peter McCarthy, EVOO, Boston. Yield: 10 servings.

6 cups apple cider vinegar
3 cups unsulfured molasses
3 cups soy sauce
1 3/4 cups ketchup
1/3 cup Tabasco® brand Pepper Sauce
2 cups light brown sugar
6 cups cold water
20-22 lb. whole turkey, fresh or frozen and thawed, giblets, etc. removed
as needed, salt and freshly ground black pepper
as needed, vegetable oil

5 medium tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
5 medium sweet apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 quart fresh apple cider

1 oz. vegetable oil
1 large sweet onion, peeled and large dice
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
8 medium plum tomatoes, cored and rough chop
3 medium red peppers, roasted, peeled, trimmed and diced
2 large chipotle peppers, dried or canned
1 1/2 quarts turkey stock
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cups orange juice
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup yams, peeled, large dice and blanched
1 cup mustard greens, cleaned and dried
as needed, fried sage leaves
2 tsp. roasted garlic sour cream

For molasses brine: Combine vinegar, molasses, soy sauce, ketchup, Tabasco® sauce and brown sugar. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Pour brine ingredients into a large foodservice-safe bucket and stir in cold water. Cover and place in refrigerator while boning turkey.

Turkey: Remove wings by cutting between wing joints. Remove thighs and legs from bird. Separate thighs and legs. Bone the thighs. Remove breast from the carcass by cutting along the breast bone. Place breast halves and thighs in cool brine solution. Cover and refrigerate for 12-14 hours. Use carcass and bones for a rich turkey stock. Use drumsticks for another recipe.

To smoke turkey: Remove turkey pieces from brine and drain. Tightly wrap breasts in cheesecloth. Pat some brining solution around each turkey bundle. Smoke turkey pieces in covered smoker, using water-soaked mesquite or hickory wood chips. Maintain a smoker temperature between 225-300°F. Trim and dice thighs. Hold, covered, in the refrigerator for service. Unwrap turkey breasts, and slice into 1/3" slices. Season with salt and pepper; lightly coat surfaces with vegetable oil. Cover and hold for service.

For apple butter: In a large stockpot combine apples with sugar, cinnamon and apple cider to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer and cook until apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Pass apples through food mill or ricer. Place apples and all liquid into a large pot and return to a low simmer. Reduce by 2/3 or until the apple butter is thick and a rich brown in color.

For chipotle molasses sauce: In a sauce pot, over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic. Sweat until translucent. Add tomatoes, peppers, turkey stock, molasses, Worcestershire, orange juice and salt. Simmer until vegetables soften. Pass mixture through food mill. Return to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and add cilantro.

To assemble: For each portion, in a heavy sautè pan over high heat, heat oil until very hot. Add 1/2 cup diced yams and 1/2 cup smoked, diced turkey thigh. Brown well. Drain excess oil and add 1 cup mustard greens. Cook until greens are wilted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

For each portion, grill 3 slices of smoked turkey breast for 2-3 minutes per side or until the internal temperature is 170°F.

For plating and service: In center of the dinner plate, place diced thigh/ vegetable mixture. Top with 3 slices grilled turkey breast. Ladle 1/4 cup chipotle-molasses sauce atop the breast slices and top with 2 Tbsp. apple butter and fried sage leaves. Garnish plate with roasted garlic sour cream.

Photo Credit: National Turkey Federation