You can't have a Thanksgiving dinner without turkey. Why do we eat turkey at Thanksgiving? It's not the cheapest way to feed a crowd, it's not the easiest to cook, and takes hours depending on method. It seems that with our modern access to meat and produce from around the world any time of year tradition would be set aside for convenience. Alas, like it or not, turkey is and will probably always be the center of a Thanksgiving dinner.
A Thanksgiving for two should still have this option, but you shouldn't have to spend hours in the kitchen. You could certainly make chicken or even a nice medium rare duck breast for a small celebratory dinner, but would it be the same? Would you miss the giant bird that sits in the middle of every Thanksgiving table? Maybe. This turkey recipe serves just a few. Perfect for a small Thanksgiving meal.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start with a large boneless skinless turkey breast. Don't be alarmed by the size. Turkeys are big birds. Portion the breast into evenly sized thin portions; I ended up with five evenly sized portions from one large turkey breast. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme and two cloves of crushed garlic to the butter. Move the herbs and garlic to the edge of the skillet and add your turkey. Brown turkey over medium high heat, about 2-3 minutes per side. Cover and move to preheated oven, cooking an additional 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
Remove the turkey from the pan and wrap in foil to rest. Discard the thyme and garlic. Over medium low heat, add a tablespoon of flour to the pan drippings and whisk until flour starts to brown. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock while whisking quickly to combine. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and cook over medium heat until gravy has thickened. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Slice turkey and serve with warm gravy.
You can't have turkey without stuffing. Or I suppose in this case, dressing? If it's not stuffed inside a bird, can you really call it stuffing? I'm going to. It's easier!
The stuffing can be made a day ahead of time and reheated in the oven while the turkey is cooking. Start with 1/2 of a baguette of your choice, sliced into small cubes. Toast bread in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes to dry out the bread and just start to toast. While bread is toasting, dice 1 large carrot, 2 celery stalks, 1 small leek, and 1/2 of a medium sized onion. Mince 1 clove of garlic.
Sauté 1/2 pound of pork sausage in a medium sized skillet. When fully cooked, remove sausage to a small bowl and drain all but 1 tablespoon of drippings. Sauté diced vegetables and garlic in the reserved pork drippings until softened.
In a large bowl, combine toasted bread, sausage, and vegetables. Add seasoning. 2 teaspoons of dried sage, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon, and salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and spoon stuffing in a 9x9 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until browned on top, about 20-30 minutes.
If you've made the stuffing ahead of time, to reheat, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes or until heated through.
Serve turkey and stuffing with potatoes and brussels sprouts for a great Thanksgiving meal for two!
Pan Roasted Turkey Breast with GravyBy Land of Noms, November 23, 2014
- 1 large boneless, skinless turkey breast
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Melt butter in a large oven safe skillet
- Divide turkey breast into equal thin portions, season with salt and pepper
- Add fresh thyme sprigs and crushed garlic to melted butter
- Move thyme and garlic to the edges of the pan and add turkey, browning on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side
- Cover and move pan to preheated oven, continuing to cook 15-20 minutes or until turkey is cooked through and reads 165 degrees for internal temperature
- Remove turkey from the pan and wrap in foil to rest, discard thyme sprigs and garlic
- In the same pan, over medium low heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of flour, cooking until lightly browned
- While whisking quickly, add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and cook until thickened, season with salt and pepper if needed
- Slice turkey and serve with warm gravy
Sausage and Sage StuffingBy Land of Noms, November 23, 2014
- 1/2 baguette, sliced into small pieces
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 1 small leek, thinly sliced and washed well
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 pound of pork sausage
- 2 teaspoons of dried sage
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Arrange bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes or until dry and just starting to toast
- Cook pork sausage in a medium sized skillet until done
- Remove pork sausage to a bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings
- Over medium heat, saute carrots, celery, onion, leeks, and garlic in reserved pork drippings
- In a large bowl, combine toasted bread, sausage, and sauteed vegetables
- Add seasoning and chicken stock, combining well
- Spoon stuffing into a 9x9 baking dish
- Bake in a 350 degree oven, 20-30 minutes or until heated through and browned on top
- If made ahead of time, reheat in a 350 degree oven, covered with tinfoil, 10-15 minutes or until heated through
Sharing our culinary adventures in Cascadia with simple, sustainable & satisfying eats. Bon Appétit!