Grilled Sweet Tea Brined Turkey

Chef Jimmy Reale, Executive Chef at Carolina Crossroads Restaurants in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, adds a dose of Southern charm alongside summer squash, cremini mushrooms and lavender butter in this sumptuous dish. Reale’s talent and an elegant ambiance have earned Carolina Crossroads the Forbes Four-Star rating and a AAA Four Diamond Award.

by Jimmy Reale, Executive Chef, Carolina Crossroads Restaurant

Ingredients: Chicken Brine
  • 1 ea Turkey Leg Quarters, 6-8 Pounds
  • 1 gallon Iced tea
  • 4 cup Sugar
  • 4 ea Lemons, quartered
  • 1 ¼ cup Kosher salt
  • 1. In a pot bring Iced Tea, Sugar and Salt just to simmer, stir occasionally
  • 2. Remove from heat and stir well to make sure all sugar and salt dissolved
  • 3. Squeeze all lemons and place in hot brine
  • 4. Refrigerate until mixture is cold
  • 5. Wash turkey well and place in large container
  • 6. Cover Brine with brine
  • 7. Place something heavy on top of chicken so it is submerged in brine
  • 8. Place in refrigerator for 12-14 hours
  • 9. After 12-14 hours, remove turkey from brine and wash of lightly under sink
  • 10. Tie legs together with butcher twine. Place on rack and cook on 425 degrees to an internal temperature of 140 degree
  • 11. Remove and let cool completely
  • 12. When ready, grill slowly and baste with lavender butter until you reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees
Goat Cheese Creamed Spinach:
  • 1 ea large onions, small dice
  • ¾ pound bags of spinach, rough chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup Sherry
  • 2 cups Heavy cream
  • 3 oz. Goat cheese
  • 1. Saute onions until translucent over medium heat
  • 2. Add chopped spinach and wilt
  • 3. Add garlic and sauté, then deglaze with sherry
  • 4. Add heavy cream and bring to simmer
  • 5. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes
  • 6. Remove and whisk in goat cheese
Lavender Butter:
  • 1 Pound Butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Lavender Flowers
  • 1. Place soft butter and lavender flowers in food processor
  • 2. Run for 20-30 seconds until combined. It will not totally puree which is fine
  • 3. Store in refrigerator until ready to use

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