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Funky Bird (A.K.A. Southwestern Turkey Breast)


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  • BRINE:
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar - (packed)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 oranges halved
  • 2 jalapeños minced, with
  • their seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 whole turkey breast - (abt 6 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril's Essence see * Note
  • 1 pound poblano chiles
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled, halved, root end left on
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or canned low sodium chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely-chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Servings 6


Step 1

* Note: See the "Bayou Blast - { Creole Seasoning}" recipe which is included in this collection.

In a large non reactive container, combine lemon juice, orange juice, kosher salt, light brown sugar, yellow onions, oranges, jalapeños, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, and oregano with 1 gallon water and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Put the turkey in a large colander and rinse under cold, running water, then add the turkey breast to the brine, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove the turkey from the brine and put it breast-side up in a large, heavy roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the turkey with vegetable oil and sprinkle both sides with Essence. Roast until deep golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Poblano Chocolate Mole: To roast the peppers, place them directly on the burners of a gas stove over medium heat and turn them frequently with tongs until all sides are charred black, 7 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, the peppers can be roasted under a broiler or over a hot gas or charcoal grill.) Transfer the peppers to a plastic or paper bag, seal the bag, and let cool for about 15 minutes. Peel the peppers, remove the seeds and stems, and coarsely chop the flesh.

Roast the onion halves over medium heat, using the same procedure, until the cut surfaces are lightly charred and the onion is slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Remove and discard the root ends from the onions; coarsely chop the onions.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the pistachios, pumpkinseeds, and pine nuts and cook, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are browned. Add the peppers, onions, chili powder, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper and stir for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and cilantro and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Add the cream, stir well, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender. Serve over the sliced turkey.

This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.

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