• Funky Bird (A.K.A. Southwestern Turkey Breast)

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    • 1 c. fresh lemon juice
    • 3/4 c. orange juice
    • 1 c. kosher salt
    • 1 c. light brown sugar - (packed)
    • 1 c. minced yellow onions
    • 2 x oranges halved
    • 2 x jalapenos chopped, with their seeds
    • 1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro
    • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
    • 1 Tbsp. chili pwdr
    • 1 Tbsp. grnd cumin
    • 1 tsp dry oregano (preferably Mexican)
    • 1 whl turkey breast - (abt 6 1/2 lbs)
    • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    • 1 Tbsp. Emeril's Essence see * Note
    • 1 lb poblano chiles
    • 1 lrg yellow onion peeled, halved, root end left on
    • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    • 1/2 c. shelled pistachio nuts
    • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
    • 1/2 c. pine nuts
    • 2 tsp chili pwdr
    • 1 tsp chopped garlic
    • 1 tsp grnd cumin
    • 1 tsp grnd coriander
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp freshly-grnd black pepper
    • 4 c. chicken stock (or possibly canned low sodium chicken broth)
    • 1/2 c. coarsely-minced fresh cilantro
    • 2 ounce semisweet chocolate finely minced
    • 1/2 c. heavy cream


    1. In a large non reactive container, combine lemon juice, orange juice, kosher salt, light brown sugar, yellow onions, oranges, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, chili pwdr, grnd cumin, and oregano with 1 gallon water and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
    2. Put the turkey in a large colander and rinse under cool, running water, then add in the turkey breast to the brine, cover, and chill, turning occasionally, for at least 12 hrs and up to 24 hrs.
    3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    4. Remove the turkey from the brine and put it breast-side up in a large, heavy roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the turkey with vegetable oil and sprinkle both sides with Essence. Roast till deep golden and an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees, about 1 hour and 45 min. Transfer to a platter and let stand for 15 min before carving.
    5. Poblano Chocolate Mole: To roast the peppers, place them directly on the burners of a gas stove over medium heat and turn them frequently with tongs till all sides are charred black, 7 to 10 min. (Alternatively, the peppers can be roasted under a broiler or possibly over a warm gas or possibly charcoal grill.) Transfer the peppers to a plastic or possibly paper bag, seal the bag, and let cold for about 15 min. Peel the peppers, remove the seeds and stems, and coarsely chop the flesh.
    6. Roast the onion halves over medium heat, using the same procedure, till the cut surfaces are lightly charred and the onion is slightly softened, about 10 min. Remove from the heat and let cold. Remove and throw away the root ends from the onions; coarsely chop the onions.
    7. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the pistachios, pumpkinseeds, and pine nuts and cook, stirring occasionally, till the nuts are browned. Add in the peppers, onions, chili pwdr, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper and stir for 1 minute. Add in the chicken stock and cilantro and bring to a boil over high heat.
    8. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 min. Add in the chocolate and stir till melted. Add in the cream, stir well, and simmer for an additional 15 min. Puree with an immersion blender. Serve over the sliced turkey.
    9. This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.

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