Turkey tenderloins are the tender long strip of white meat hidden under the turkey breast. Because this strip of meat is an underused muscle of the turkey, it is very tender and excellent for recipes. With chicken, these same type of tenderloins are used for fried chicken strips.
Nutritional Value of Turkey Tenderloins
In a 33 gram serving, turkey tenderloin has 34 calories and one gram of fat. Due to the low fat and calorie content in relation to fattier meats like beef, turkey tenderloins are a good food for dieters. This same serving contains one gram of carbohydrate and six grams of protein.
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Best Methods of Cooking
Since a turkey tenderloin is very low in fat, it can dry out very quickly if not cooked properly. The best way to cook a turkey tenderloin is on a medium high heat on the grill or roasted in an oven set on 375 degrees F. All turkey must be cooked to 165 degrees for safety reasons. If a turkey tenderloin is cooked under this temperature, you run the risk of food poisoning if the turkey was not handled properly down the food supply chain.
Grilled Turkey Tenderloin
One of the most delicious ways to cook turkey tenderloin is with a dry rub and then grilled on a hot grill. Take one tablespoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, sage, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and mix in a small bowl. Rub this mixture onto a turkey tenderloin and wrap in plastic wrap or put in a sealed bag in the fridge for at least two hours (overnight is best). Rub your grill with vegetable or canola oil and then preheat your outdoor grill on medium high. Place seasoned turkey on the grill and roast for five minutes each side. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure the temperature is up to 165 degrees F. Pull the turkey off the grill and let rest for five minutes to let the juices rest back into the meat.
Roast Turkey Tenderloin
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, rub the turkey tenderloin with a tablespoon of ground sage, ground thyme, salt and pepper. Grease a cookie sheet or roasting pan with olive oil. Place the turkey tenderloin on the roasting pan and place in the middle of the oven. Close the door and roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Check the temperature to make sure it reaches 165 degrees F for safety reasons.
Brined Turkey Tenderloin
In a bowl, mix four cups of water with 1/4 cup of salt and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Add a tablespoon of ground pepper, ground garlic and smoked paprika. Place the turkey tenderloin in the brine mixture and let the brine flavor the tenderloin for at least two hours. This brine can be used for up to six hours before cooking, Brines help retain the moisture of lean meats as well as flavor meats that are low in fat.
Mix one tablespoon of each of the following spices: turmeric, garlic, coriander, yellow curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Rub this curry mixture onto the turkey tenderloin and grill outside on a medium high heat. Cook for about five minutes on each side and check the temperature to make sure the meat reaches 165 degrees F.