Brown sugar-brined turkey with warm apple-onion jam - The Buffalo News

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Brown sugar-brined turkey with warm apple-onion jam

Once you master indirect-heat grilling and learn to use your grill as an outdoor oven, a world of options opens up.

Brown Sugar-Brined Turkey With Warm Apple-Onion Jam

About 10 servings

For the turkey (needs to be brined for 6 to 10 hours ahead of other preparations):

2 quarts unsweetened apple cider

2 quarts water

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

3 bay leaves

One 5 ½-to-6-pound bone-in, skin-on turkey breast

For the jam

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large Vidalia onion, cut into small dice (scant 2 cups)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces

2 teaspoons bourbon or rye

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

For the turkey: Combine apple cider, water, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns and bay leaves in large stockpot over medium-high heat; stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to boil, then remove from heat. Cool brine completely in ice-water bath or refrigerator.

If needed, transfer cooled brine to container or zip-top bag large enough for turkey breast. Submerge turkey in liquid. Seal and refrigerate for 6 to 10 hours.

Prepare grill for direct and indirect heat. If using charcoal, light briquettes in chimney starter and let burn until flames subside and light layer of ash covers them (20 to 25 minutes). Dump lighted coals into 2 mounds (or, preferably, into 2 half-moon-shaped briquette baskets) on opposite sides of grill. Place drip pan between piles of coals and fill halfway with water. If using two-burner grill, set one burner to medium and leave other unlit; with three or more burners, set the outside or front and rear burners to medium-low and leave the center burners unlit. The direct-heat temperature should be 375 to 400 degrees.

Use spray water bottle for taming flames. Lightly coat rack with oil and place on grill. Remove turkey from brine, rinse and pat dry. Discard brine.

When grill is ready, place turkey over unlit area so breast sits upright on grill. Close lid and cook, maintaining a temperature of 375 degrees. For even cooking, rotate the turkey breast once after 45 minutes.

After 60 minutes, start checking for doneness. The breast should take a total of 75 to 90 minutes. It is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees; be sure to monitor both sides of the turkey. The skin might get quite dark, which can be deceptive. Transfer the breast to a platter to rest for 20 minutes.

While the turkey is cooking, make the jam: Heat the oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Once it shimmers, add the onion and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium; cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until the onion has softened.

Stir in the butter and apples; increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, for about 6 minutes, until the apples start to soften. Add the bourbon or rye and the brown sugar; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bourbon reduces and the sugar dissolves. Add the mustard, stirring to incorporate. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Serve slices of the turkey with the apple-onion jam.

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