Friday, May 1, 2009

Battle Turkey, Pt 2

Every Thanksgiving, millions of Americans sabotage their turkey as they over roast it for a family meal; leaving many children scarred as they choke down the parched turkey covered in a gravy. My ode to the classic holiday…


A sautéing pan is put on the stove very high heat with 2 tbsp of olive oil. While that heats up, I diced half of a medium sized onion fairly small and chopped up the garlic. I found a bag of matchstick carrots, radishes, and a bunch of semi-wilted spinach in the fridge so why not use it? The onions and garlic were added to the pan as I chopped up the carrots.

In the pan it goes! I threw a pinch of salt, pepper, and the classic blends of herbs, Herbs de Provence. I gave everything a stir and back to the cutting board…

While the carrots softened, the radishes were diced and spinach chopped. The radishes join the pan next since it takes a little bit longer to cook than the spinach. Once it radishes becomes translucent, I dumped in the spinach and stirred till the spinach turns a bright green.

I turned off the heat as I ladled in some turkey stock from earlier (See, there is a plan behind my madness). A quick taste was given followed by more salt and pepper. There were a couple of slices of bread left on the counter. I hate to waste food so I cut them up and in the pan it goes!

I added the bread a little at a time so that it would have time to soak up the stock and reach a nice, spread-able consistency. It is a stuffing, but not as thick. On a whim, I threw in some chopped parsley and a handful of chopped almonds.

The turkey emerged from the cold fridge.

A piece of plastic wrap, 2 times bigger than the turkey breast is placed on the cutting board. The turkey is then laid on top on the plastic wrap. With a butcher’s knife, I butterflied the turkey breast, starting from the rounded side. Another piece of plastic wrap is then placed on top of the breast. With a mallet, I tried to beat into more a rectangle shaped but I had no luck. At least the turkey was a pretty uniform thicken ( ½ inch thick) when I was done with it.

Assembly time!

I carefully removed the plastic wrap to unveil a lovely piece of turkey, nice and flattened. Salt and pepper were lightly sprinkled onto the meat. The stuffing from earlier were careful piled onto the turkey and spread into a thin layer about ½ inch thick. I still have a lot of the stuffing left, but that’s okay. Nothing goes to waste in my kitchen.

The turkey was carefully rolled up and tied with cotton twine. It looks like an over-size sausage, but its okay. Olive oil coats the top as it gets a final sprinkle of salt, pepper, and Herbs de Provence.

It went into the oven for a while and came out scrumptious! This is the perfect substitution for the giant roasted bird that we consume every year. It can be served with the classic sides or a simple salad for a nice summer meal.

Perhaps a watercress salad?

To be continued…..



½ cup onions

2 cloves of garlic

½ cup diced carrots

½ cup diced radishes

4 cups of fresh spinach, chopped

¾ cup of cubed day old bread

2/3 cup of water or turkey stock

1 tsp Herbs de Provence

salt & pepper

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1/3 cup of chopped almonds

1 turkey breast, butterflied

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Sautee the onions and garlic over medium high heat until it becomes very aromatic. Stir in carrots. Add the Herbs the Provence along with salt and pepper to taste. Once the carrots are soft, stir in the radishes. As the radish beginnings to become translucent, add the spinach and allow it to cook, which will not take very long.

As soon as the spinach turns a bright green, add in the stock. Stir to combine. Add the bread cubes and let it soak up the stock. Stir in the parsley and almonds.

To butterfly the breast, lay the breast skin side up on the board. Place your hands on top of the breast to stabilize as you cut through the breast, parallel to the board. Do not cut all the way through. Open the breast up like a book. Cover the breast with plastic wrap and pound till the turkey is ½ inch thick, using either a mallet or a heavy bottom pan.

Season the breast with salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing evenly on the turkey, leaving an inch border all the way around. Try to keep the stuffing the same thickness as the turkey. Start on the short side, roll the turkey like a log.

Using kitchen twine, tie the log so that it will hold during baking. Placed the turkey log in a baking pan and drizzle the top with olive oil. Season again with salt and pepper, but also the Herbs the Provence.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the top is a golden brown. Let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before serving.