Smoked Jerk Turkey Thighs with Banana Ketchup



3/4 c homemade or bottled hot sauce

1/2 c fresh rosemary leaves, picked

1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 c fresh basil, chopped

1/2 c fresh thyme, picked

1/4 c mustard seeds, coarsely ground

1 c scallions, chopped

2-1/4 tsp kosher salt

1-1/4 tbsp black pepper

1/2 c fresh lime juice

1/4 c Dijon mustard

1/4 c orange juice

1 tbsp ground cumin

1-1/2 tbsp ground allspice

3/4 tsp red chile flakes

2 qt water

2 oranges, zested

1-1/3 c maple sugar

5 tbsp kosher salt

2 c yellow onions, thick slice

3 Medium bay leaves

2 tsp black peppercorns

10 Cloves garlic, smashed

4 tsp whole mustard seed

2 tsp allspice berries

12 16-oz BONE-IN TURKEY THIGHS, skin-on

2 tbsp corn oil

2 c yellow onion, small dice

4-1/2 c ripe bananas, sliced

1-1/2 c orange juice

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp curry powder


2 tsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh chives, minced


Jerk Marinade

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process to a paste. Let paste stand overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Yields: 1-1/2 Quarts

Brine for Turkey

Combine water, orange zest, maple sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Cool to room temperature.

Stir in onions, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, mustard seeds and allspice berries. Cover and reserve.


Place turkey thighs, skin side down on cutting board. Locate thigh bone and slice along each side of bone to loosen. Do not remove bone as it allows the thigh to hold its shape and provides additional flavor. (Loosening the bone will let the brine and smoke penetrate the turkey more evenly.)

Place thighs in a 2-inch deep hotel pan and pour brine over thighs.

Cover and refrigerate 12-18 hours.

Remove thighs from brine and pat dry.

Smoke thighs at 225 degrees F. for 45 minutes, using a light wood such as apple or oak. Remove thighs from smoker. Remove thigh bone and discard.

Banana Ketchup

Heat corn oil and saute onion until soft and golden. Add ripe bananas and saute 5 minutes.

Stir in orange juice, brown sugar, curry powder and turkey stock. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes, until bananas are very soft.

Puree sauce. Season with rice wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, kosher salt and black pepper.

Stir in finely chopped cilantro and minced fresh chives. Cover, refrigerate and reserve for service.


Brush reserved jerk marinade on all sides of thighs. Grill thighs over medium-high wood fire, skin side down, until browned and crusty. Turn thighs over, brush with more marinade and grill until cooked to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.

Slice thighs, 1/2-inch thick, across the grain. Portion 4-5 slices per entree.

Plating and Service

Serving suggestion: nap dinner plates with Banana Ketchup.

Stack sliced turkey slices atop rice pilaf. Garnish with seasonal vegetables.

Nutrition Facts

Total Calories 350

Total Fat 17 g

Saturated Fat 5 g

Cholesterol 115 g

Sodium 510 mg

Potassium 640 mg

Total Carbohydrates 12 g

Dietary Fiber 1 g

Sugars 9 g

Protein 35 g

% Daily Protein 6

% Daily Vitamin C 20

% Daily Calcium 2

% Daily Iron 40