Sugar Cured Wild Turkey

INGREDIENTS
1 wild turkey (domestic may be substituted) cleaned, skinned and thawed out
1 large disposable plastic bag (large enough to hold a 10 – 12 lb. turkey and 1-1/2 gallons of water)
1 large container chicken broth
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons- black peppercorns
1 basting brush
Texas Gourmet’s Sweet Chipotle Season All
Texas Gourmet’s Riverbed Steak Seasoning
Cheesecloth (4 layers 10” x 10” for the oven and 6 wraps – 10” x 6’ for the pit)- just be sure and totally wrap the bird in about 5 to six layers of cheesecloth.
1 pint sugar
1 pint kosher salt

PREPARATION
Brine
Mix the sugar and kosher salt together in the water, then add the garlic, chicken broth, and peppercorns, place the turkey in the disposable plastic bag, add the mixture, then cinch the bag tightly around the turkey to draw up and make sure the liquid mixture is completely covering the turkey, tie up then place in a cooler and surround with ice , allow the covered bird to sit for approx. 18 to 24 hours in the brine then remove and move on to the preparation stage, whether it is the oven or the pit.

Baste for Turkey
3 sticks butter or margarine
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup of olive oil
2 tbs crushed dried rosemary leaves
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp dried Thyme leaves
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Heat ingredients to a boil. Use this to
baste the turkey.

You have two ways of cooking your Bird
OVEN INSTRUCTIONS: Place the bird on a rack over a baking pan-breast side up. Place 4 layers of cheesecloth over the breast. Place bird in preheated oven at 325 degrees, bake for 3-1/2 – 4 hours or until meat thermometer inserted into fleshy part of inner thigh (not touching bone) reaches 180 degrees. Remove from oven, discard the cheesecloth, and drape a piece of foil loosely over the bird and allow it 25 – 30 minutes to rest before carving. Serve with Texas Gourmet’s Black Bean Pico de Gallo and your favorite sides.

PIT INSTRUCTIONS: Wrap the entire bird with 4 to 5 layers of cheesecloth (this will keep out excessive smoke and allow the baste to keep the bird moist during smoking). Use about 5 lbs. of charcoal to start, then add Post Oak or Red Oak & hickory wood, or a combination of them. Preheat the pit to about 300 degrees. Place the bird, breast side up on the pit on the far end from the firebox, baste with basting sauce every 45 minutes, smoke at 275 – 300 degrees for 5 – 6 hours or until meat thermometer inserted into fleshy part of inner thigh (not touching bone) reaches 165 degrees. Remove from pit, and drape a piece of foil over the bird for 30-40 minutes to rest the meat. Then remove and discard the cheesecloth, carve and serve with Texas Gourmet’s Black Bean Pico de Gallo and your favorite sides.

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