Spring in South-Central Texas

Yes indeedy, it’s Springtime in South-Central Texas: sunny and gorgeous one day, overcast and thundering the next. Heck, sunny one hour, thundering the next! Just a few weeks ago, Dallas was hit by tornadoes, hail and flooding, all while Austin was basking in the soft glow of temperatures in the upper 80’s. Yup, I love me some Springtime in South-Central Texas!

So with the warmer temperatures, my tastebuds turn to the sunnier flavors of chile peppers and citrus- all those yummy Southwest ingredients. And those who know me know that I love turkey almost more than any other bird, so I moseyed over to our local farmer’s market to pick up a coupe of pastured turkey breasts- locally raised and organically grown.

Once home, I made up a little SW Chipotle glaze for the breasts, starting off with an orange juice, maple syrup and chipotle reduction, then added in spices, citrus, and butter. I let that cool down and rubbed it all over the turkey breasts- both under the skin and on top- then threw the turkey onto the grill indirectly on medium high heat over a drip pan, and let the grill do it’s work.

Once the turkey was cooked through, about an hour and fifteen minutes, I added the remaining glaze to the drippings along with a couple of ounces of tequila to make a savory gravy. And oh my goodness, this is now one of my new favorite grill meals! Just make up some smashed potatoes and fresh Spring peas, and you have a meal suitable for any turkey lover out there.

SW Chipotle Glazed Turkey
2 turkey breasts

2 c oj

1/3 c maple syrup

1 T chipotle, minced, plus juice from can

½ stick butter

1 t ea fresh marjoram and thyme

1 T ea lemon and lime juice

S&P to taste

¼ t cumin

1 T flour

2 T tequila


  • Boil cider, maple syrup and chipotle in heavy sauce pan over medium high heat til reduced by half- about 15 minutes
  • Add butter, thyme, marjoram, lemon and lime juices, S&P and cumin. Mix until butter well blended in. Allow to come to room temperature.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. Can also be made a day ahead.
  • Pat turkey breasts dry. The insert hand between the skin and meat of the breast, working your fingers to the edges of the breast to loosen the skin.
  • Rub ½ c of glaze under the skin, massaging the glaze into the meat. Rub ½ c on top of skin.
  • Prepare grill by brushing with oil. Place breasts on rack over a drip pan and grill indirectly at medium-high heat until thermometer inserted into breast meat reads 170°, about 1 1/2 -2 hours.
  • Remove bird from grill onto plate and loosely tent with aluminum foil.
  • Pour pan drippings into medium heavy saucepan along with remaining 1 cup of glaze. Stir to blend. Place 3 T of mix in a cup along with 1 T flour and mix well until all flour clumps have been worked out. Add back into drippings-glaze mix. Bring to boil, stirring often, until gravy has reached desired consistency. Reduce heat. Add tequila and mix over low heat until well mixed in.
  • Slice the rested turkey breast and serve with gravy alongside smashed potatoes and Spring peas. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do- feel free to change it up to suit your palate by omitting the tequila, or using beer in the gravy, or adding a little chile powder to give it an extra kick. Either way, keep it tasty, and I hope to see you in Ruby’s Kitchen sometime soon.

Associated Press, May 2012