Persimmon & Apple Moonshine Smoked Wild Turkey

There are few things in this word that go better with wild turkey than fall fruits, so when I came across this Droptine Spirits Persimmon & Apple Moonshine, I knew I had to try out this pairing immediately.

The rich, fruity notes of persimmon and apple combine beautifully with the familiar smooth heat from moonshine and come through in this dish, both in the brined and smoked meat, as well as the killer barbecue sauce you baste it with and serve on the side.

Eat it all straight up, or slice thinly as part of the ultimate turkey club; there is no wrong way for this to go down… ENJOY!

Prep Time: 1 hour

Brining: 24 hours +/-

Cooking Time: 2.5 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Wild Turkey Breasts

Brine:

  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups apple juice (unsweetened and unfiltered is best)
  • 1 cup Droptine Persimmon Apple Moonshine (Apple Brandy also works)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cups salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1/4 canola or avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion, coarsely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or pasted
  • 1 cup Droptine Persimmon & Apple Moonshine
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Brine the Turkey

  1.  In a large mixing bowl add the water, apple juice, moonshine, brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, onion and garlic. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  2. Place the turkey and brine in a gallon Ziplock freezer bag and seal, pressing out as much air as possible.
  3.  Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, flipping and squeezing the bag every few hours to make sure that all of the meat is being brined evenly.

Make the Sauce

While the breasts are in the brine is when I prepare my barbecue sauce. This gives all of the ingredients and flavors time to really combine and develop. It can be prepared the day before and kept in the fridge, or made while the breasts are smoking and used straight away.

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.
  2.  Add grated onion and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until onion turns translucent (not browned).
  3.  Add the moonshine and garlic and boil down for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and molasses.
  5.  Mix well and return to a simmer.
  6. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes to combine the flavors.
  7. Lower heat and let the sauce cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will allow the sauce to thicken.
  8.  Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool. If preparing before you can place in refrigerator until needed.

Smoke the Turkey

  1.  Preheat smoker to 225 degrees.
  2.  Remove and rinse the turkey breasts under cold running water, and then pat the breasts dry.
  3. Rub the breasts down with olive oil and season lightly with black pepper.
  4.  Place breasts directly on smoker grill, close lid and smoke for 2 hours.
  5.  At about the half way mark, brush the breasts with the barbecue sauce, coating evenly, but not too thickly.
  6.  After 2 hours, raise the smoker temperature to 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the breasts reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast.
  7.  Remove from smoker and let sit for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
  8. Serve with the reserved Persimmon & Apple Moonshine Barbecue Sauce on the side.
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