Citrus-Glazed Turkey cooks up quickly on the grill

08/19/2014 7:00 AM

08/19/2014 12:00 PM

Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in 2005.

Ground turkey burgers have become a staple for health-conscious Americans in recent years. But summer is the perfect time to try newer cuts of turkey on the grill. Turkey processors now offer smaller, flatter cuts as a quick-cooking option for people bent on convenience.

Tenderloins are the whole muscle from inside the center of the breast and weigh between 7 to 15 ounces each. Tenderloins tend to taper from end to end, creating an unevenness that makes them difficult to cook evenly, so The Star’s recipe for Citrus-Glazed Turkey uses cutlets instead.

Cutlets are the boneless and skinless meat of the tenderloin that has been sliced across the grain. They typically weigh 3 to 6 ounces each and are up to 99 percent fat-free.

A lean protein source, a 3-ounce serving of boneless, skinless turkey breast cutlet contains 120 calories, 26 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat and 0 grams of saturated fat. Of course, the leaner the meat, the more chance there is of it drying out. To avoid this, our recipe incorporates a low-fat marinade to help the meat retain moisture.

When it comes to serving grilled turkey, we decided to skip the predictable cranberry sauce and try something seasonal instead with a spicy pineapple-orange marmalade sauce. Like cranberries, pineapple has both an astringency and sweetness that complement the neutral flavor of turkey. Pineapple also contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme that may lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, and manganese, an important bone-building mineral. Heating pineapple makes the soluble fiber more available for use by the body.

Cooking tip: If you can’t find the smaller, flatter cutlets, buy a tenderloin and cut it across the grain to create your own cutlets.

To put some handsome crisscross grill marks on your cutlet, position meat at 10 o’clock on the grill. Halfway through cooking time, use a spatula to reposition cutlet at 2 o’clock; flip on the other side and repeat.

Pump it up: Although canned pineapple is most convenient, feel free to substitute fresh pineapple.

Citrus-Glazed Turkey With Spicy Pineapple-Orange Marmalade

Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lime juice

Grated zest of 1 orange

Grated zest of 1 lime

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

11/2 pounds turkey breast cutlets, each cut about 1/2-inch thick

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained, reserving juice

Combine juices, zests, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Measure out about half of juice mixture; cover and refrigerate. Mix oil into remaining juice mixture. Place turkey in resealable plastic bag. Pour juice mixture over turkey; seal and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Preheat grill or allow coals to burn down to white ash. Grill turkey about 7 to 8 minutes per side, or until meat is no longer pink and meat thermometer registers 180 degrees. (Do not overcook.)

Meanwhile, place reserved juice mixture in small saucepan. Stir in honey, onion and pineapple juice. Heat, stirring frequently, until mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes until juice has reduced to about half of original volume. Stir in pineapple and heat, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve turkey with warm pineapple mixture.

Per serving: 252 calories (37 percent from fat), 10 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 74 milligrams cholesterol, 14 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein, 68 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

Recipe developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.

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