Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gobble Gobble Gobble !!!

Oh, if you could only hear my turkey impersonation...... maybe it's good that you can't !!!

I am a Thanksgiving baby and therefore, I love turkey, and I have lots to be thankful for right now. Two simple facts. We also happened to have a boneless turkey breast in the freezer, so......why not ??  It's fallish outside (if you call the 70s in Iowa in October "fallish") and almost November !!! And with the Chef's and my new work schedules, we haven't really done a lot of real cooking the last couple weeks. All the more reasons to spend a leisurely Sunday puttering around the kitchen with the sounds of NFL football in the background.

So I planned my little mini-Thanksgiving menu without having to make a single trip to the store for something I was missing- amazing !!! Roast turkey breast with chestnut stuffing. Roast baby yukon gold potatoes and baby carrots, and cranberry sauce (can't have turkey without cranberries !!) Easy enough !!

I started with a FULLY THAWED boneless turkey breast roast (about 3 lb). This one came with that little net bag on it, but I always cut that off before I cook it, I think they are messy and unnecessary and if you like the crispy brown turkey skin, that stupid string thing always messes up the skin.

You can still see the imprint from that net but after it roasts, that goes away. I sprinkled the roast all over with freshly cracked black pepper, some lemon herb seasoning and crushed dried thyme, and then cut a couple bacon strips in half and laid them across the top.

I should probably specify that I used just regular bacon, not maple or apple or any fruity flavor- just plain old regular bacon. Into a 350 degree oven the yummy little bird went for a nice roast. After about an hour and a half I added enough baby carrots and baby yukon gold potatoes to the roasting pan for the two of us.

I didn't think there was enough drippings yet to really coat the veggies so I added a couple tablespoons of browned butter with sage that I had in the fridge (but you could use just butter, or a little butter and a pinch of sage if you like or even bacon fat if you have it). Back into the oven for another hour and it came out perfectly juicy with the veggies absolutely perfect. Total roasting time was just about 2 1/2 hours for our 3 lb breast, if you rely on a thermometer, you want to shoot for 170-175 degrees.

And I'm not gonna lie- I stink at making gravy, so I used the little gravy packet that came with the turkey- just added some of the turkey drippings to it.

Besides the turkey and veggies I also made a small batch of chestnut stuffing. I loooooove chestnuts and I try to get some every fall to use in different recipes. For my stuffing I used 6 hot dog buns, cut up into small cubes and left out to dry most of the day,

about 1/4 chopped celery with leaves, 1/2 small onion diced, 1/4 chopped chestnuts (I used the roasted jarred chestnuts from Williams Sonoma),

about 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken broth, a couple tablespoons butter, freshly cracked black pepper and crushed dried sage leaves (1/2 tsp to a tsp to taste).  Melt the butter in a small skillet and saute the onion and celery until softened but not brown.

Toss the cooked vegetables with the bread cubes n a large bowl.

Drizzle with chicken broth and toss until evenly moist. Pile into baking dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray and dot with a little bit more butter. Cover with foil and put in the 350 degree oven with the turkey for about an hour. I remove the foil the last 15 minutes or so to brown and crisp the top.

Dinner turned out really good- just like real Thanksgiving !!! Except with no pumpkin pie.....bummer......

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