Rotisserie Turkey Breast with Spice Rub
There is one problem with cooking Turkey to 150*F. Dark meat. Turkey breast may be better cooked to 150*F, but turkey legs and thighs need the extra heat to break down the fat and connective tissue; they’re OK at 165*F, but they’re better at 170*F, and great at 175*F to 180*F. This is why cooking a whole bird is such a difficult balancing act – the lean breast meat needs to come off the heat the moment it is done, but the legs are better the longer you can cook them.
The solution? Julia Child explained in “The Way to Cook” all those years ago – don’t cook a whole turkey. Carve the legs off of the breast before cooking. That way, I can pull the breast meat out the moment it is ready, and leave the legs to continue to cook. At the time, this seemed sacrilegious – I want the Normal Rockwell picture. I want to carry a whole turkey to the Thanksgiving table in triumph, not a collection of turkey pieces. Eventually I realized that I shouldn’t fight science, or Julia. Turkey breast just tastes better when you cook it on its own.1
|Spices ready to be mixed into a rub|
Here is my new favorite turkey breast recipe. I cook it to 150*F, so it is juicy and tender. The rotisserie gives it beautifully crisp skin, the spice rub adds a complex layer of flavor to the exterior. What could be better?2
Recipe: Rotisserie Turkey Breast with Spice Rub
Inspired by: Bobby Flay Turkey Breast with Spanish Spice Rub
- Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I use a Weber Summit with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here is the current version of my grill.)
- Aluminum foil drip pan (9“x13”, or whatever fits your grill. I use an enameled steel roasting pan.)
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Add rotisserie pan sweet potatoes to the drip pan for a quick and easy side dish. The spice rub is a great match with sweet potatoes; sprinkle a little on the sweet potatoes before you put them in the drip pan.
- As I mention in the head note, the key is to cook the breast to 150*F – turkey breast is so lean, that it goes from juicy to terribly dry if it is slightly overcooked. An instant read thermometer is absolutely necessary.
- Speaking of the spice rub…I wanted to call it a Spanish spice rub, because of the smoked paprika. But the rest of the spices are there because I like their combined flavors, not because of any Spanish flavor profile. In other words, it’s a global mishmash of spices to match my taste.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Rotisserie Turkey Breast, Dry Brined is a simple version of this recipe.
Rotisserie Pan Sweet Potatoes
Rotisserie Turkey, Dry Brined with Orange and Spices
Click here for my other rotisserie recipes.
|Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.|
Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
It’s a Kindle e-book, so you can download it and start reading immediately!
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