Barbecued Southwestern Turkey

SW comfortLooking for a new twist on the traditional Thanksgiving turkey? If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate, a barbecued turkey is a delicious change from the traditional method. If you have to do this in the oven, it works just as well. It just doesn’t have the smoky taste. From Southwest Comfort Food, by Marilyn Noble.

Barbecued Southwestern Turkey

Serves 6

1 fresh turkey, 12–14 pounds
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons red chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 orange, cut into eighths, peel on
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 onion, quartered
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup white wine

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat the grill to low (about 300 degrees F) and push the coals to one side. Prepare a drip pan. If using a gas grill, follow the manufacturer’s directions for indirect heat grilling.

Remove the giblets from the turkey and discard, or save for making gravy. Rinse the bird and pat it dry. Work the softened butter underneath the turkey skin. Make a rub by mixing the chile powder, cumin, garlic, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the entire turkey. Place the orange, apple, and onion pieces in the body cavity. Sprinkle with salt, tuck the wing ends under, and secure the legs.

Place the turkey on the grill over the drip pan and cover the grill. Baste periodically with a mixture of the orange juice and white wine, and roast until an instant-read thermometer reads 170 degrees F, approximately 3–4 hours. Remove from the grill and allow to stand for about 30 minutes before carving.

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