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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Turkey Breasts | Herb Stuffed Roasted Turkey Breasts for Thanksgiving

Stuffing and roasting just turkey breasts is a great alternative to the entire bird, especially if you are hosting a small or very large Thanksgiving dinner.  For example, if you are only having 6-8 guests, then an entire Turkey is far too much, and if you are hosting more than 20, you'd be tempted to make two birds... who has the oven room for that?!

At first your family might be a bit shocked if you don't have an entire 20 pound turkey roasting in the oven on Thanksgiving Day... but just wait until they taste this flavorful, juicy alternative. 
Herb Stuffed Turkey Breast
with sage, thyme, lemon & garlic

1 Turkey Breast (2 halves), butterflied
3 tablespoons of butter, softened
1 tablespoon of thyme leaves, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of sage leaves
2 tablespoons of parsley, chopped
Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
Olive Oil
1 cup of dry white wine
1 lemon, zest & juiced

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Butterfly the turkey breasts by cutting along the side of the breast (parallel with the cutting board) until you've reached about 1 inch away from the other side.  Open up the breast where you've cut it and continue to make small cuts until the breast lies flat. 

In a small bowl, combine softened butter, thyme, lemon zest from one lemon and garlic.  Spread the mixture on the flattened/butterflied turkey breasts.  Sprinkle sage leaves and parsley over the butter mixture, then salt & pepper.  Roll up the breasts and place on the rack in a roasting pan with the seam down.  You can secure the seam with twine or a toothpick, if you'd like.

Rub the breasts with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Pour white wine and lemon juice in the bottom of the pan.  Roast in the oven for 1 3/4 - 2 hours.  Let them sit for 5 minutes, then slice into 1/2 inch pieces.  Serve with gravy made from the pan drippings and herbed stuffing.

Turkey Gravy

Drippings from Roasted Turkey
Chicken Stock

Pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a fat separator leaving a small amount of liquid in the roasting pan - do not clean the pan, set it aside.  Drain the fat off of the drippings, leaving the brown liquid.  Put the roasting pan on a low heat, add flour to the pan and stir it into the brown bits.  Heat the flour mixture until bubbling.  Add back in the pan drippings that you've separated from the fat.  Whisk together until smooth.  Add chicken stock to thin until desired thickness.  Continue to cook gravy until hot and bubbling.  It will continue to thicken as it cooks.

Begin by butterflying the turkey breasts - or ask your butcher to do it for you!  I used turkey breast tenderloins... they are the smaller part of the breast - it was the only thing my butcher had in October!

Mix the herbs, garlic and lemon zest together with the softened butter. 

Spread on the herbed butter, then add the sage and parsley leaves.

 Roll up the breasts (the breasts will be much larger than the breast tenderloins, as pictured), drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Your family will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious and flavorful turkey can be!  If you'd rather do a traditional roasted bird, try my recipe here.

For more Thanksgiving Recipes and my step-by-step Thanksgiving Timeline & Checklist, click here

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