I have to give credit to my mom for this healthy smoker recipe. When she nonchalantly pulled a grilled turkey breast off the grill one afternoon and topped it with a to-die-for compote I knew just had to share! Nonchalant is the key word here: she was not running around the kitchen, she wasn’t stressed, she wasn’t distracted. Easy, fabulous, healthy meals like this are the best!
My mom is a great cook, and is constantly giving me great ideas for new healthy recipes to try in my kitchen. We love to talk food, nutrition, cooking and baking. It’s great to have a friend like her – she saves a lot of people the annoyance of having to talk food with me all day. Though if I’m honest, I still talk about it a lot…
Kenny is king of the smoker. I’m not a huge meat eater, leaning more towards the vegan side of the spectrum (I’m currently obsessed with this vegan asparagus curry and cauliflower rice!). But when Kenny pulls meat out of the smoker, like this smoked fiesta chicken and salsa verde, I just can’t say no. The smell, the cook, everything about it is mouthwatering coming off the smoker.
I recently made an effort to go more vegan. In some areas I’ve been very successful (vegan muffins yo), and in others I’ve struggled. A part of me wonders if I shouldn’t just commit all the way to a vegan lifestyle, but it quickly begins to feel like punishment to me. Not being able to go out to eat with friends (unless they go to a restaurant to accommodate me), being rude at people’s houses by inquiring about their cooking, not enjoying smoked meat with my husband (a great sense of pride and enjoyment for him). Everything in moderation seems the best path for my personality and lifestyle.
I stumbled upon the word “plant-strong”, which is the perfect description of what I’m aiming for. Here’s a great TED talk about the importance of such a diet. I mean, look at this dish. There’s turkey, yes (but a lean, smoked meat), but nothing else has animal products. There’s at least 2 servings of produce on the plate!
Smoking is a great way to prepare meats. It’s healthy and clean. The smoker (or smoke box on the grill – Kenny uses it with the smoker too) infuses the meat with amazing smoked flavor. The downside is that smoking does take a long time. It’s idle time though, time you can use to enjoy time at home, to get little tasks done, to give a loved one all the health benefits of a hug.
Smoked Turkey Breast & Spicy Fig Rhubarb CompotePrint Recipe
- 2 turkey breast on carcass, thawed
- Hickory chips or pellets
- 1 lemon quartered + 1 lemon, juiced
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 8-9 sprigs oregano, tied together
- 8oz dried figs.
- 1/2 lb rhubarb
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek (or sriracha)
- 2 cups water + 4 quarts
- 1 cup Kosher salt + more for seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups greens of choice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey + 1/2 tsp
- About 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- Pepper to taste
Prepare the brine. In a very large pot (enough to cover turkey carcass with the brine) combine 4 quarts water and salt. Heat until salt has dissolved. Add in bay leaf, oregano, garlic cloves, lemon (quartered). Fill with about 2 quarts of ice cubes to cool it down, and then add turkey so it is completely submerged. Place into refrigerator, covered for about 4 hours.
When brine is finished, remove turkey breasts and discard brine. Heat grill or smoker to 350F. Get the smoker box going (if using) by filling with chips and igniting the chips until smoking generously. Dab turkey with a paper towel. Rub with a little olive oil, lightly salt, and generously sprinkle with fresh cracked black pepper. Place in grill/ smoker and cook for about 1.5 hours, or until meat has reached an internal temperature of 160F. Remove and allow to sit for 10 minutes before carving.
When your turkey is about 30 minutes from being done, prepare the compote. Place dried figs in a medium saucepan with 1 cup of water. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, moving and flipping figs occasionally.
Chop the rhubarb into 1/2 inch sections. Add to pot with another 1/4 cup water (if needed) and continue to cook, covered , for another 15 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, uncover the pot. Add the sambal oelek (or srirachi) and 1 tsp honey. Stir to combine, mashing compote as it goes. Add more honey and/or spicy paste to your tastes. Increase heat as need so that liquid evaporates. Remove from heat.
While figs hydrate, prepare the salad dressing. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp honey and vinegar. Whisk to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Place in a large bowl that can hold all your greens. When everything is read to eat, swirl the dressing around the bowl, removing a little if it's too much. Place greens in bowl and toss to lightly dress.
Carve turkey and serve over salad. Generously add the compote over the meat. Enjoy!