Brined and Grilled Turkey Tenders with Indian Spiced Relish

By Winery Chef Kristine Schug


2 qt cold water

1/4 c salt

3 tbsp sugar

3 Bay leaves

3 Cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp peppercorns, crushed

1 tbsp whole allspice seeds, crushed


1 tsp black or brown mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin powder

1 c plain yogurt

2 c cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 c sliced scallions

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 tsp cayenne powder

3/4 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper

As needed peanut oil

As needed salt and freshly ground black pepper


Brine Turkey

In a large plastic container mix together cold water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns and allspice seeds. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Place the turkey tenders in the solution.

Cover with container lid and refrigerate the turkey 3-4 hours.

Indian Spiced Cucumber-Yogurt Relish

Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place mustard seeds in skillet and toast them for 1 to 2 minutes. Add cumin powder and continue to stir and toast until the cumin just starts to darken, about 1 minute or so. Immediately, transfer spices to a bowl; allow to cool.

Stir together yogurt and cucumber in a medium serving bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and stir till evenly blended.

Adjust seasonings to taste. Hold for service, covered, in the refrigerator.

Grill Turkey

Remove turkey from brine to a sheet pan covered with paper towels. Allow turkey to warm for about 30 minutes. Prepare the grill.

Pat turkey tenders dry with more paper towels, if necessary, then brush them generously with peanut oil.

Place each turkey tender on a small platter. Sprinkle tenders with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Grill tenders over a medium-hot grill for 8-10 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Service and Plating

Remove turkey to a serving platter, cover lightly with foil and allow meat to rest a few minutes.

Slice tenders on the diagonal. Serve hot with spoonfuls of the Indian Spiced Cucumber-Yogurt Relish.

Hot basmati rice and grilled vegetables are good sides.