I know that I got some sort of brined turkey breast recipe from Jim's dear Aunt Karen at some point--she had cut it out of her newspaper in Durham, NC. Somehow that got combined with the one below, which I got from the Washington Post, date unknown. So I really have no idea of the original source of this, but I have fiddled and twiddled with it over the years. I'm giving directions below for cooking the turkey on a gas grill and also in the oven. Either one works, and in the past I've gone off and left the grill going while we were at church, but I'm not sure I'm all that comfortable with doing that any more. It just seems a little risky leaving a grill going unattended on a wooden deck. (Our old patio was concrete.) So for yesterday, when I served this meal to guests, I used the oven.
3 cups orange juice--from concentrate is fine. If you're a purist and want to use fresh orange juice, and if you're going to smoke the turkey on a grill, then do save the peels.
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup vegetable oil--I used toasted sesame oil, but you could also use olive oil.
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (You could, I suppose, use dried ground ginger, but I don't know how much. The fresh is much better, and it's almost impossible to put too much in. As I said in the previous recipe, you can store fresh ginger in the freezer and grate it while it's still frozen.)
1/4 cup low-sodium or regular soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves or 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning--if you use the Italian seasoning, then you'd want to use olive oil.
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 bone-in turkey breast, about 6 pounds, not those horrible rolled boneless turkey roasts.
Mix all marinade ingredients and pour over the turkey, cover well and refrigerate. It should marinate for at least several hours and can sit overnight. You can see from the above picture that I didn't have the marinade covering the turkey; it would have been better to put it in a large plastic bag, pour in the marinade, and then put it in the bowl.
Orange peels reserved from marinade
1 bunch fresh rosemary sprigs if available
Soaked wood chips--enough to fill one or two of those little fireboxes (two is much better)
(These 3 ingredients only apply if you're smoking the turkey on a grill.)
If you're grilling:
Turn one side of the grill on to low. (If you have a small, one-sided grill, I guess you'll just have to cook the turkey on the same side as the heat source.) Wrap your soaked wood chips, orange peels and rosemary bunches in foil to make a rectangular package and cut slits in the top. Put that on top of the turned-on side of the grill, underneath the grate directly on top of the lava rock or whatever. Put a pan of water on the grill grate on the other side and put the turkey itself on the warming rack above that, so it's actually nowhere near the heat source. The exact configuration probably doesn't matter as long as the turkey isn't directly over the fire. Depending on the strength of your grill, the weather, etc., etc., this will take 3-4 hours. As discussed below, the internal temp of the meat should be 155 degrees, and you should then loosely cover it with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes.
If you're baking:
Much simpler! Add 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke to the marinade. (This is actually a natural product, not an artificial flavoring, made by passing smoke through water. It's very strong and lasts forever.) Then pour the marinade into the bottom of your baking dish (9x12 is fine), put some kind of rack over it, and put the turkey breast on top of that. Bake at 325 degrees for about two hours, or 20 minutes per pound, but check the internal temp half an hour before that. In theory, the meat should reach 165 degrees to be done. I have read that it can be as low at 150 degrees, but I don't want to send anyone to the emergency room. So a good target to shoot for is 155 degrees, with a 20-minute resting time (which you should have anyway). The internal temperature should rise to between 160-165 degrees, which is fine. I felt that the turkey yesterday was a little dry. I wish I had pulled it out about 15 minutes earlier.
Save the marinade to make a sauce. If you grilled the turkey, then you'll just have the leftover marinade, but if you bake the turkey then you'll also have all the nice juices that have dripped down into it. You may want to skim off the fat in that case, but I wouldn't worry too much. Boil it down some, then add two tablespoons cornstarch in a cup of orange juice to thicken it. It tastes great with the turkey. By the way, there seems to be this idea that you can't use the marinade for the sauce; that you have to save out some of it that doesn't come into contact with the raw meat and you have to throw out the marinade, as it may harbor bacteria even after boiling. This idea makes no sense. You're going to eat the meat, aren't you? And you didn't boil that. If you boil the marinade/sauce for five minutes you can feel perfectly safe in eating it.
This recipe has become one of our favorite slight-special-occasion meals, for Sunday or company (or both), and it's really good with some fresh bread or rolls from the bread machine, some cooked kasha, and avocado-orange-and-red onion salad, with a vinaigrette made with balsamic vinegar. I'll include those recipes in a later post, but I think I've gone on long enough for now. Do try this. It will give you a reason to cook turkey more than once a year!