Dining In: Thanksgiving dinner
Make Thanksgiving festive and memorable even if you aren't cooking for a crowd. These recipes will make the day special for just the two of you.
Roasted and stuffed turkey breasts
1 whole boneless turkey breast, about 3 1/2 lbs.
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 bay leaves
3/4 c. port
2 oz. sun-dried tomatoes (dry-pack, not in oil)
2 oz. hazelnuts
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley leaves
2 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 small onion
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. white wine
1/4 c. port
3 Tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 c. cold water
Fresh ground black pepper
The turkey breast should be the whole breast with skin still attached. In a large baking dish, pour 1/4 c. of the port over the turkey breast, distribute the garlic slices and bay leaves over and under the meat and season with several grindings of the pepper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in remaining 1/2 cup port. Toast hazelnuts for 10 to 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven until fragrant and lightly browned. Rub in a towel to remove skins.
Shortly before roasting time, remove garlic from turkey and transfer to a food processor along with the sun-dried tomatoes and their liquid, the hazelnuts, parsley, rosemary salt and balsamic vinegar. Pepper to taste. Process until thoroughly pureed. Drain turkey breast, reserving the port marinade for sauce.
Rub some of the puree mixture between the turkey breast and skin. Spread remaining mixture over the meat, pushing it into the muscle separations as much as possible. Fold turkey breast in half lengthwise and tie with several loops of cotton string into a long cylinder. Place cylinder seam side down on a roast rack set in a shallow roasting pan.
Arrange bay leaves from marinade over the turkey breast. Slice onion and strew in roasting pan.
Note: Before folding the turkey into a cylinder, it may be stuffed with your choice of dressing.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put in turkey breast, reduce heat to 325 degrees and roast 1 3/4 hours or until meat tests done. Do not overcook. Remove turkey breast and let rest in a warm place while preparing sauce.
Place roasting pan on stove and add white wine and stock. Bring to boil over high heat, scraping up brownings with spoon or spatula. Strain through a sieve, pressing out every bit of liquid from the onions. Allow liquid to settle and carefully skim off all fat.
Transfer liquid to a saucepan and add 1/4 cup port and reserved port marinade. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer several minutes. Slowly stir in dissolved cornstarch, using only enough to make a lightly thickened sauce. Simmer for a few more minutes and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Remove skin from turkey breast (if desired) and slice carefully into fairly thick slices, allowing one slice per serving. Try to keep slice intact for presentation. Serve with the sauce. For an elegant presentation, arrange the slices neatly over a pool of the sauce.
Leftover turkey can be sliced and warmed briefly in sauce. Cold, it makes great sandwiches on whole grain bread.
Chicken breast with cornbread sausage stuffing
2 8-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
18 strips of bacon
16 oz. cornbread sausage stuffing (recipe follows)
2 c. saffron rice, cooked (recipe follows)
1 c. apricot sauce (recipe follows)
Lay chicken breasts on flat, firm surface. Cover with plastic wrap and pound with meat mallet to desired thickness, or approximately 1/4 inch. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Press stuffing over whole breast, spreading to 1/4 inch thickness. Roll chicken breasts toward cleavage to form uniform log shape, making certain wrap is tight. Lay out strips of bacon the width of chicken breasts. Place breasts on bacon and roll up. Secure bacon with toothpicks or butcher's twine. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, checking for doneness. Allow to cool several minutes after cooking. Slice 3/4 inch slices and serve over saffron rice with apricot sauce. Serves 2.
Cornbread sausage stuffing:
1 link Andouille sausage
2 c. cornbread, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
2 oz. butter, melted
1/2 c. white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove sausage from casing and saute until fully cooked. Remove sausage from pan and saute onion, garlic and parsley in remaining butter until soft. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup dry white wine. Reduce by half. Add cornbread, sausage, onion mixture and toss together with melted butter, salt and pepper until moist, adding more butter or wine if necessary.
2 c. white rice, parboiled
4 c. water
Salt, pepper, and garlic to taste
Pinch of saffron
1 tsp. chopped parsley
Combine all ingredients and steam uncovered until done or bring to boil on stove top and finish covered in oven. When rice is done, lightly saute and blend in parsley.
1 c. orange juice
1 lb. apricot presrves
2 c. carbonated uncola beverage
1/2 c. apricot brandy
1/4 c. brandy
1/4 c. champagne vinegar
1/4 c. apricots, dried, sliced
1/4 lb. brown sugar
Cornstarch/water to thicken
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Thicken to desired consistency with cornstarch and water mixture. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for 2 minutes.