Ah turkey, the the great symbol and grand tradition of Thanksgiving. Though most have it as part of their T-Day feast few prepare it exactly the same way. Truth be told I've never actually cooked a whole turkey. First off I can barley handle dealing with a whole chicken, so I'm betting a whole turkey would probably end in disaster. Second I'm lucky to live in the same city as one of the top distributors of smoked turkeys in the US. Greenberg! It's what my family always had on turkey day so I was raised on it and I love it! But I do happen know several ways to prepare turkey breast (my favorite part anyway) and am lucky enough to have a sister and brother-in-law who deep fry their turkey so I'll share that as well :)
Preparing just the breast is really only a small version of the whole enchilada so if you wanted to you could certainly take the recipes here and translate it to your whole bird (you brave whole turkey roasting soul you).
Rosemary Roasted Turkey Breast
3 pound skin on turkey breast*
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
3/4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup water or chicken broth
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.Wash the turkey breast and pat dry. Loosen the skin from the breast and spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add the 1/4 of water or chicken broth to the bottom of the pan to help keep the turkey moist while roasting. Roast according to the number of pounds your turkey breast actually weighs this is usually 20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 180 degrees.
*If you cant find skin on, or don't want to use it for any reason, don't its not totally necessary I just happen to prefer it ;)
Mediterranean Style Stuffed Turkey Breast
3 pound turkey breast bone-out, skin removed
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic minced
3/4 cup dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 fresh cracked black pepper
2 tbs all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 artichoke hearts roughly chopped
1/4 Kalamata olives roughly chopped
1 tbs butter, melted
3 large slices provolone or mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup water or chicken broth
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a lengthwise slit in turkey breast to within 1/2 in. of opposite side; open meat so it lies flat. Cover with plastic wrap and flatten to an even 1/2-in. thickness and set aside. In olive oil saute the onion and garlic until tender. Stir in flour, thyme, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and add the spinach, olives and artichokes to the sauce. Remove the plastic wrap from flattened breast and arrange the cheese on top, spread the sauce over the turkey breast and starting at a short end, roll up and tuck in ends and tie with kitchen string. Place on a rack in a roasting pan with a 1/4 cup water or chicken broth in the bottom. Brush with melted butter. Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour or until internal temperature reads at least 180 degree. Let the breast rest for 10-15 minutes before removing the string and slicing.
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
1 medium onion sliced
1 medium red bell pepper seeded and sliced*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces turkey Italian sausage, casing removed
3 pound turkey breast
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
salt to taste
In a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, rosemary, and oregano. Crumble sausage over onion mixture. Rinse the turkey and pat dry; arrange over sausage. Sprinkle with pepper. Pour in chicken broth. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 5 to 7 hours, or until internal temperature has reached 180. Remove turkey from cooker and cover to keep warm. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and cold water. Stir into cooking liquid in slow cooker increase heat to High, and cover. Cook, stirring 2 to3 times, until gravy is thickened (about 10 more minutes). Season to taste with salt. Spoon gravy over turkey or reserve for individual pouring.
*Any color bell pepper may be substituted.
Deep Fried Turkey my sister's recipe :)
12 pound turkey (size varies but 12 pounds is pretty middle of the road)
Make sure your turkey is completely thawed, if not you may end up with a turkey missile and serious 3rd degree burns!
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Cajun seasoning to taste
Melt the butter and olive oil on low heat, add the garlic and Worcestershire and Cajun seasoning. Inject most of the mixture into turkey and under skin. Rub the remainder on the outside and store the bird for and overnight resting. Add peanut oil up to the line on the inside of the turkey fryer (or see your manufacturer's instructions for recommended quantity of oil). The turkey should be submerged with one inch of oil above it while cooking. The turkey should be placed in the frying basket neck end first. Slowly lower basket into hot oil. Maintain the temperature of the oil at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and cook turkey for 4 minutes per pound. Carefully remove basket from oil, and drain turkey. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh; the internal temperature must be 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).
I hope these recipes have given you guys a little inspiration for trying something new this year! And if you've never had deep fried turkey, give it a try sometime! I know, it is a little bit of a daunting task, but it makes for some of the moistest bird you'll ever taste. Stay tuned for next week, I'll be covering my favorite part of the meal desserts!
If you happened to miss the first post of the Thanksgiving Day recipe series and would like to have a looksie, visit this link--->T-Day Side Dishes