Sage-rubbed barbecued turkey breast

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6 min


4 servings

* PLUS Barbecuing Time: 240 minutes


  • 2 skin-on, bone-in turkey breasts , joined together, about 1.5 kg
  • 2 tbsp butter , at room temperature
  • 4 large garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 tbsp dried sage leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt , or 3/4 tsp kosher salt


  • Grease grill and preheat barbecue to high. Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry. Place bone-side up on a cutting board. Cut or pull off any excess fat from back of turkey. To level out thickness of turkey as much as possible, press down on both sides of turkey or whack it with bottom of a heavy frying pan. You will break a small part of breastbone. If any small rib bones are sticking up, cut them out as they will pierce foil.
  • Place butter in a bowl with garlic. Then crumble sage over butter. Sprinkle with salt. Stir until evenly mixed. Place turkey, skin-side up, on a large piece of heavy foil that is long enough to generously wrap and tightly seal breasts.
  • Lift a portion of one side of skin away from turkey, large enough to insert 2 fingers. Without lifting much more skin from breast, work your finger under skin toward front and top of 1 breast. Insert about one-quarter of butter mixture under skin, right to top of breast. Repeat on other side. No need to spread this mixture as it will do so as butter melts.
  • Using your fingers, spread half of remaining butter mixture all over skin and top part of turkey. Turn turkey over. Spread bone side with remaining mixture. Wrap foil around turkey. If any bones puncture foil, wrap bones with a small piece of foil. Seal foil by folding ends over to form a double or triple thickness.
  • Place foil package on grill so bone side of turkey is facing up. Barbecue over high heat with lid down for 15 minutes. Turn over package and cook 15 more minutes. Remove package from barbecue to a platter. Turn 1 side of barbecue down to medium and turn off other side. Carefully open package. Remove turkey and save juices in foil. Place turkey, bone-side down, directly on grill over medium heat. Barbecue with lid down for 15 minutes. Turn over turkey. Pour juices from foil overtop and barbecue 15 more minutes. Turn over once again. Continue barbecuing with lid down until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast reaches 165F (74C), from 15 to 20 more minutes. If turkey starts to burn before it is done, move it to side of grill that is turned off. Remove cooked turkey to a platter. Loosely cover with foil and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before carving.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 428,
  • Protein
  • 73.5 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 1.6 g,
  • Fat
  • 12.1 g,
  • Fibre
  • 0.2 g,
  • Sodium
  • 524 mg.

Turkey on the barbecue? Why not! We love this simple alternative to the traditional roast turkey as the ideal choice for a small gathering. Grill some fall veggies at the same time and you’ll enjoy a no-hassle feast that cleans up in a snap.