Sunshine On A Chilly Day: Turkey Breast With Caramelized Grapefruit BBQ Sauce


It’s funny that we associate citrus fruits with summer when in fact, they are in season during the winter.  Given the especially cold winter that most of the country is having, I’m hoping that you would appreciate a little sunshine to brighten things up a bit.

This turkey breast with Caramelized Grapefruit BBQ Sauce may not melt the snow, but it will surely warm up your tummy!  I dry-brined the turkey breast for three days in a mixture of kosher salt, grapefruit zest, garlic and black pepper.  While it was roasting on the grill with indirect heat, I caramelized some sugar and tossed in more grapefruit zest, garlic and ginger as the base for the BBQ sauce.  The turkey comes out super moist and flavorful from the dry brine and the BBQ sauce is sure to warm you through!  If your grill happens to be frozen shut under a bunch of snow, you can still make this little slice of sunshine in the oven at 350°F.

Turkey Breast With Caramelized Grapefruit BBQ Sauce

serves four to six

One 2 1/2 to 3 pound bone-in (half) turkey breast
Kosher salt, 3/4 teaspoons per pound of turkey
1 teaspoon freshly grated grapefruit zest, finely chopped and packed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Caramelized Grapefruit BBQ Sauce (recipes follows)

Trim the rib bones and any excess fat away from the turkey beast. Thoroughly combine the salt, zest, garlic, and pepper then rub (sprinkle and pat) over the entire turkey breast. Place the breast in a large resealable plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for one to three days.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes to take the chill off. Set up grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (no direct heat source under turkey). Brush and oil the grates before cooking. Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels and place skin-side up on hot, oiled grill over a drip pan. Cover grill and roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 145°F. If using a charcoal grill, add ten more briquettes to each pile of coals after one hour. Start glazing the turkey breast with the grapefruit BBQ sauce every 10 minutes until the breast reaches and internal temperature of 165°F; total cooking time will be 1 1/4 to 2 hours depending on the usual factors.  Transfer to a cutting board and loosely tent with for 10 minutes before carvings. Serve hot with extra sauce on the side.

Caramelized Grapefruit BBQ Sauce

makes about 1 cup

Note:  Have all ingredients prepped and ready to go before cooking.  🙂

1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons freshly grated grapefruit zest, finely chopped and packed
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup freshly squeezed ruby grapefruit juice; about one medium grapefruit
1/3 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook (without stirring) until the sugar turns a medium caramel color.  Add the grapefruit zest, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant; about 30 seconds.  Carefully stir in the grapefruit juice, ketchup, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Keep warm until ready to use or cool and refrigerate for up to one week.

Cheers and Happy Grilling!
~ Jeff


3 responses to “Sunshine On A Chilly Day: Turkey Breast With Caramelized Grapefruit BBQ Sauce

  1. I highly recomned the grapefruit BBQ sauce, it is awesome… you’ll keep eating and eating!

  2. Pingback: Brain Tastes From The Interwebs | Jeff Parker Cooks·

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