Recipe: Sweet tea turkey sandwich


by Dwayne Beliakoff and Jonathan Cobbs, chefs & owners of The Bread & Board // photo by Agnes Lopez

For the turkey:

10-lb. skin-on turkey breast, or 14-lb. whole turkey
1 gal. cold sweet tea
3/4 c. kosher salt
1/2 c. hot sauce (Texas Pete preferred)
3 large oranges, cut in half
3 lemons, cut in half
1 T. black peppercorns, whole
2 tsp. coriander seed, whole
1 T. fennel seed, whole
1 large onion, quartered
6-8 c. of favorite wood chips, soaked in water

1. In a large nonreactive pot or plastic container (large enough to hold turkey with 2-3 inches above bird), mix well the tea, salt, orange and lemon halves (squeezed) and hot sauce.
2. In a cast iron or sauté pan, lightly toast peppercorn, coriander and fennel seed until dry and aromatic, but not burnt. Remove from heat, cool 2-3 minutes and add to liquid. Quarter the onion and peel apart, adding to liquid. Stir for 30 seconds.
3. Submerge whole turkey or breasts in brine mixture and refrigerate for 24 hours.
4. Remove turkey from brine and lightly rinse to remove spices. Pat dry and place on baking sheet lined with paper towels. Refrigerate 1-2 hours until skin is dry and tacky.
5. Place bird in gas or electric smoker (charcoal can be used under a watchful eye) and smoke using your favorite sweet wood (apple, cherry, peach or pecan) at 200°F until bird reaches an internal temperature of 135-140°F. Remove from smoker and transfer to pan lined with foil, tenting the bird with additional foil, and continue to roast in oven at 325°F until it reaches 170°F internally.*
6. Remove from oven and rest 30-45 minutes before carving and serving.

Makes 10 servings

Sandwich Prep:

5 oz. turkey
3 large roasted onion rings
Shaved aged white cheddar
Herbed aioli
Orange marmalade
Fresh arugula mixed with dried cranberries
Honey-pepperoncini vinaigrette or favorite light Italian vinaigrette
Cranberry, walnut & rye bread or your favorite semi-sweet, dark bread like pumpernickel or marble rye
Left over turkey gravy

Lightly toast the bread, add aioli, turkey warmed with cheese just until melted over, and onion rings. Toss the greens with vinaigrette and add with generous amounts of marmalade on the top piece of bread.