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Grilled Whole Turkey With Mojo Marinade
MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MMMMiami
Recipe Category: Poultry
Recipe Preparation Level: difficult
This recipe is from MMMMiami--Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere by Carole Kotkin and Kathy Martin
(10 to 12 servings)
Roasting is the time-honored way to cook a turkey, but grilling takes about the same amount of time or even less, adds a smoky dimension to
the taste, and frees up the oven for all those side dishes. The meat absorbs the tangy marinade -- an onion- oregano- and cumin-enriched variation on classic Cuban mojo -- and the skin crisps up to a
rich mahogany brown.
You need a covered grill -- either charcoal or gas -- for this recipe. If the snow is too deep on your patio to fire up it up, the bird can be oven-roasted once marinated.
For the marinade:
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dry-leaf oregano
1 cup sour orange juice (or ½ cup each lime and regular orange juice)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
To finish the dish:
1 10- to 12-pound turkey
The day before you plan to grill the turkey, puree the garlic, onion, salt, cumin, oregano, sour orange juice, and oil in a blender or
food processor. Set it aside.
Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey and save for another use (soup stock, giblet gravy, a treat for your cat ... .) Rinse the
turkey under cold running water. Drain it well, and pat it dry with paper towels. Gently insert you fingers under the skin, loosening it as much as
possible over the breast, thighs and drumsticks. Be careful not to puncture the skin.
Set the turkey in a clean, sturdy plastic bag that's big enough to easily hold it (a fresh-from-the-box trash-can liner works fine). Rub the
marinade generously into the meat beneath the loosened skin, and into the body and neck cavities.
Fasten the neck skin to the back with a skewer, tie the legs together, and tuck the wing tips under the thighs (see Tips/Techniques
note). Pour any extra marinade over the turkey, and close the bag tightly.
Refrigerate it overnight, turning the turkey a few times to distribute the marinade.
On a charcoal grill: Remove the rack, and open the vents in the top and base of the grill. Put a drip pan in the center of the base (an
8-by-12-inch disposable aluminum pan, available in supermarkets, is just the right side). Mound 25 to 30 briquettes on either side of the pan, and
Let the coals burn down to a medium-hot fire.
Meanwhile, remove the turkey from the marinade, pat it dry with paper towels, and brush it with vegetable oil. Place it on a roasting rack (this
will make it easier to remove from the grill).
When the coals are ready, fill the drip pan halfway with water.
(This creates steam to help cook the bird, and catches drips to prevent flare-ups.) Put the grill rack in place, 4 to 6 inches from the fire.
Place the roasting rack and turkey on the grill rack, directly over the drip pan, and cover the grill. Check the turkey after an hour, and add
a dozen or so briquettes to maintain the temperature. (Don't use quick-lighting briquettes at this stage or your turkey will taste of
lighter fluid.) If the turkey is still cooking after 2 hours, replenish the briquettes again.
A whole turkey can cook in as little as 10 to 12 minutes per pound, but the type of grill and briquettes and the weather conditions affect
cooking time. That makes it especially important to use an instant-read meat thermometer. Begin checking the temperature -- in the thickest part of
the thigh near the body, avoiding the bone -- after 1 3/4 hours for a 10-pound turkey and after 2 hours for a 12-pound turkey.
Remove the turkey from the grill when the thigh temperature reaches 165 degrees. (This is lower than generally recommended, but it keeps the
breast meat moister; the temperature will rise to the desired 175 or 180 as the turkey rests.) Tent it with foil, and wait 30 minutes
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