Chipotle-Brined Grilled Turkey
Our Chef Adam has been busy in the kitchen this Holiday Season! One of his favorite recipes is a Chipotle-Brined Grilled Turkey. See below for complete recipe. One of the most important things to remember about brining your bird is that it must sit in the brine solution for a minimum of 12 hours. Soaking a turkey overnight in a solution of salt and water ensures moist results. When you add aromatics to the brine, the resulting roast is also infused with a subtle character all its own.
Chipotle-Brined Grilled Turkey
For the Brine:
1 quart boiling hot water
2 cups salt
1/2 cup sugar
7 quarts cold water
1 can chipotle in adobo, pureed
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 tbsp dried epazote (can omit if unable to find)
2 tbsp chile powder
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp mexican oregano
3 tbsp paprika
1 approximately 11-14lb turkey
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 aluminum roasting pan.
melted butter, for basting
Add the salt and sugar to the boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Place the seasoned water into an extra large stock pot. The pot needs to be big enough to hold 8 quarts of water plus the turkey. Add the rest of the ingredients for the brine to the pot. Mix well. Allow the brine to come to room temperature. Depending on how cold your water was you may not need to wait at all.
Remove the neck and internal organs from the cavity of the turkey. Discard or save for another use.
Completely submerge the turkey into the room temperature brine. Put a lid on the pot or cover with plastic wrap then place entire pot into the refrigerator. Allow the turkey to sit in the brine, refrigerated, for 12-18 hours.
1 hour before cooking, remove the turkey from the brine and place on a wire rack over a sheet pan at room temperature. Allow the bird to drip dry and come to room temperature. After 50 minutes, pat the bird dry with paper towels. Coat all surfaces of the turkey with oil then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
While the bird is resting at room temperature, prepare the grill. Prepare 1/2 of the grill for cooking over high heat and leave 1/2 of the grill for indirect cooking. If desired, you can use soaked wood chips in a smoker box or aluminum packet to add an extra smokey flavor.
Place the aluminum roasting pan on the side of the grill without heat (for indirect grilling).
Once the grill is hot place the seasoned butterflied turkey skin-side down on the HOT sided of the grill. Grill the turkey over high heat for about 6-8 minutes until the skin starts to crisp and nice grill marks have been seared in. Using two sets of tongs or your hands inside of rubber cooking mits, flip the bird. Allow the flesh side to cook over the high heat for another 6-8 minutes until it too has nice grill marks.
After the bird has been marked on both sides, carefully place it skin-side up into the aluminum pan off of the direct heat. Place an internal digital thermometer into the deepest part of the thigh, not touching any bones. If your thermometer has an alarm set it for 168 degrees. Shut the lid to the grill. Try to maintain a temperature inside the dome of the grill of about 350-375 degrees.
Allow the turkey to roast on the grill over indirect heat until an internal temperature of about 168 has been reached, basting with melted butter and rotating the aluminum pan 180 degrees every 20 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the bird so USE A THERMOMETER! Once the desired internal temperature has been reached, remove the pan with the bird from the grill. Loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes so that the juices can be redistributed throughout the meat. To slice first remove the drumstick and thigh in order to better access the breast meat. Slice as desired. Enjoy!