Blue Cheese Stuffed Blackened Turkey Breast with Cajun Corn "Gravy"
This turkey recipe is not only a fantastic entree to make any dinner special, it is a great alternative dish for the Thanksgiving table.
For the turkey:
- 1 turkey breast half, skin-on, about 2.5 pounds
- 1/2 gallon (8 cups) water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- Leaves from one sprig rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces blue cheese, sliced*
- About 1 tablespoon Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Poultry Magic seasoning blend
- Sea salt
- 3 cups wood chips, soaked
For the Cajun Corn Beurre Blanc “Gravy:”
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Poultry Magic seasoning blend
- 1 teaspoon Coleman’s mustard powder
- 4 tablespoons butter
For the turkey:
Create a basic brine by whisking together kosher salt, light brown sugar and water in a large bowl until dissolved. Place the turkey breast half in the bowl, skin-side down. Cover and refrigerate for four hours. Combine the crushed garlic, rosemary and olive oil in a small bowl and let the flavors blend for at least 1 hour.
Prepare the grill for indirect cooking at 350 to 375°F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cool, running water. Dry thoroughly. Release the skin from one edge of the breast and pull it back. Cut a lengthwise slit in the middle of the breast, and stuff it with blue cheese (see note). Pull the skin tightly back over the slit and pin it in place using a couple of toothpicks.
Brush the underside of the breast with the flavored olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Turn the breast over and brush the top and sides with the flavored oil. Sprinkle the skin generously with Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Poultry Magic. This will form the blackened crust.
Place the prepared breast in the indirect cooking zone with the skin side up and cook with the hood closed for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. The turkey is cooked when an instant read thermometer inserted in the meatiest part of the breast (away from the blue cheese stuffing) reads 165 to 170°F (the USDA recommends 180°F).
While the turkey is cooking, create a constant supply of smoke from the wet wood chips. You can either sprinkle the chips occasionally onto your bed of charcoal, or use the smoking tray or smoking envelopes with your gas grill (see the techniques section of our website for more information). If you have a Kalamazoo offset smoker box, then you probably already know what to do.
To serve, first remove the toothpicks. Slice the breast into 1-inch thick pieces. Drizzle Cajun Corn Beurre Blanc “Gravy” (directions follow) onto each plate and place the sliced turkey on top.
Cajun Corn Beurre Blanc “Gravy:”
Mix the Poultry Magic seasoning blend with the mustard powder in a small dish to eliminate all lumps in the mustard powder. Reserve.
Combine the wine, garlic, shallot and lemon juice in a medium skillet. Boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Force the reduced mixture through a mesh strainer and return the liquid to the saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon of the garlic and shallot back into the saucepan and discard the rest. Add the corn, cream, spice blend and mustard powder and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Blend until as smooth as possible. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the mixture for an hour or two. The butter should be added immediately before serving.
To finish the sauce, return the corn and cream mixture to the skillet and bring to a simmer over low heat. Whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Do not allow to boil. Move the skillet off the heat if necessary.
I prepare this recipe using smoked blue cheese. Using smoked ingredients enhances the “outdoor” flavor of any grilled dish and is a great way to cheat when cooking on the grill.