An overnight bath in a sweet, salty, spicy marinade helps transform one-dimensional turkey into tasty jerky.
What to buy: Look for chile-garlic paste in the Asian section of your supermarket. We prefer the one made by Huy Fong Foods (with the rooster on the jar).
Game plan: If you have a conventional oven, you can proceed with the recipe as laid out below. If you have a relatively new, digital oven, look to see if you have a “dehydrate” option under the convection setting—it will ensure even air circulation as the turkey dries.
The jerky will last up to 1 month when stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
- Yield: 1 pound
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 4 hrs, plus freezing and marinating time
- Active: 1 hr
- 2 pounds boneless skinless turkey breast
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons chile-garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons dried red chile flakes
- Arrange turkey breast flat on a plate or baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
- When turkey is ready, place on a cutting board, trim any visible fat and membranes, and slice along the grain into 1/4-inch-thick strips. (You want the strips to be as uniform as possible to ensure even drying.)
- Place all remaining ingredients in a large baking dish or resealable plastic bag, and mix until evenly combined. Place turkey strips in marinade and toss thoroughly to coat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 12 hours, turning occasionally.
- Remove turkey from the refrigerator, place in a colander to drain off excess marinade, and let come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the racks from the oven, completely line the bottom of the oven with foil, and heat to 165°F.
- Spray the oven racks with nonstick cooking spray, blot any excess marinade from the turkey with paper towels, and arrange strips horizontally across the racks, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between strips.
- Place the racks back in the oven and dehydrate jerky until dry, darker in color, and, when bent, it gives way before breaking but doesn’t snap, about 2 hours. For chewier jerky, dry an additional 1/2 hour.
- Blot any oil or moisture from the jerky with paper towels and cool completely on the racks before storing.