Friday, April 12, 2013

Tasty Teriyaki Turkey Tenders

Do you know about turkey tenders?  They are those oval shaped muscles that lie closest to the turkey breastbone, underneath the main breast pieces.  Anyway, they are a real deal price-wise, but I wasn't sure what exactly to do with them!  
So, I called my friend, Julie, and she had cooked them just a couple nights before.  She had brushed them with olive oil, some salt and pepper, grilled them, and pronounced them tender and delicious!   
After days of gloomy weather (see previous post!), it was a beautiful, warm day here, so grilling sounded like a great idea!  Ben likes to be "in charge" of the grill around here, and he liked the idea too!  Skewers are fun and practical because you can marinate the smaller pieces quickly and they cook through easily.  I figured turkey would be good with this method.  I also love the soy-ginger-garlic taste of teriyaki sauce-- now I had a plan!  There also were some fresh mushrooms, green onions, and jalapeno peppers that needed some attention, so everything got a good seasoning with the marinade and went on the grill.  How nice to get some extras out of the same cooking process :) !  A green salad and some rice rounded out our first outdoor meal of the season.  Hooray for the sunshine! 

Tasty Teriyaki Turkey Tenders (serves 3)
4 turkey tenders, about 1.5 lbs., cut into about 1-inch chunks
mushrooms, bunch of green onions (trimmed tops and roots off), jalapeno peppers (seeds and veins removed), or whatever other veggies you want (cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant are good), in whatever amounts you want to serve

Marinade ingredients:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine), sake, or white wine
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbl. minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. honey
2 Tbl. water
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sriracha sauce (how do you spell it?), if you like a bit of spiciness
few grinds of black pepper
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
2 Tbl.  water

bamboo skewers or metal skewers (soak the bamboo ones in water so they won't catch fire)

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a screw top jar.  Shake well and pour out about 1/4 cup of the marinade.  Set that aside in a little cup.
Slide the turkey chunks onto the skewers.  Don't crowd them or smash them up against each other.  That makes them hard to cook evenly in-between each piece.  Put them next to each other, but just barely.  Slide the veggies onto the skewers also.  Green onions can just go directly on the grill, or you can use two skewers (one through the bulbs and another through the stems) to keep them stable.  Put everything in a large shallow dish as you complete each one.  Shake up the marinade and pour over all.  Marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, turning things over whenever you think about it.
Grill everything over medium hot coals.  Check to make sure the turkey is cooked through completely by cutting into a large chunk in the middle of a skewer.  The veggies just need to get some grill marks and good smokey flavor-- yum!
Put everything on a nice platter (not the one that had the raw turkey in it!).  Quickly heat up the reserved marinade in the microwave until it bubbles up.  Pour over the turkey and veggies and serve!  
Isn't Dad a great cook ? :)

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