I’m a fan of marinades or, as others would say, marinating. In Puerto Rican cuisine, we marinate pork, as in pernil (roast pork shoulder); veal (as in veal chops a la jardinera); and, our favorite, fish (pescado en escabeche or pickled fish). Then I figured, Why not extend this to other things like, let’s say, turkey? By that, I mean, turkey breasts. And thus arose this recipe for marinated turkey. Turkey is a funny meat to marinate. The marinade cannot be either too strong or it may overpower the meat, or too weak, then it’s tasteless. So I kept it simple in terms of ingredients, adding maple syrup and ginger for a slight sweet-sour effect. The results were not too bad. In fact, it was delicious. If you don’t have maple syrup around, you can substitute honey. That, and common seasonings found in your cupboard make this a great meal. In Nuyorican tradition, the dish would be served with pilaf rice. If rice is not your forte, then it goes well with yellow or red steamed baby potatoes.
1 boneless turkey breasts, about 3-3 1/2 pounds, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1. Wash turkey breasts under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place turnkey in a glass dish or bowl.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well. Set aside 1/3 cup of the marinade, cover and store in the refrigerator. Pour remaining marinade over the turkey. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, better yet, overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drain and discard marinade. Place turkey in a baking pan or dish, and pour reserved marinade over turkey. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until no longer pink, basting twice during baking.
4. Transfer to serving platter and serve.
Yield: 4 or more servings.