Many people have already ordered a turkey to cook and serve for Thanksgiving dinner, from a small 12 pounder to one of the giant 27 pound big guys. Me? I take advantage of the turkey roasts available at a nearby free range turkey farm. I order a 10-11 pound boneless turkey roast, consisting of both white and dark meat. I also get an extra drumstick or two if I’m expecting a lot of guests who prefer dark meat. We usually serve 14-17 people and have plenty of turkey left over for sandwiches and casseroles.
The advantage of the turkey roast instead of a whole bird is mainly its predictable cooking time. I am always very happy that I don’t have to jump up right after the meal and pull the remaining meat from the carcass. Also, the roast is a compact size that I can store for a day or two in the refrigerator very easily before Thanksgiving Day arrives, and I never put stuffing in the turkey anyway, preferring to cook it as a casserole.
I still have all the drippings from the turkey roast that I would get from roasting a whole bird. So I can use the drippings for gravy if I wish. (I always make my gravy a day ahead. Watch this blog for the recipe in a few days. All I have to do is warm it up gently before we eat – no rushing around to make sure the gravy is prepared at the last minute frantically removing any lumps that perversely appear.)
Smaller turkey breasts are readily available in groceries and make a tasty meal any time of the
year. They cook relatively quickly and can be served with a variety of sauces if you don’t want a traditional gravy for the meal. Here is a fruity sauce good on Thanksgiving or any other day of the year.
ROAST TURKEY BREAST WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE
(Number of servings determined by size of turkey breast. Double the remaining ingredients if a large breast is used.)
Boneless Turkey Breast
1 T. olive oil
3 green onions, sliced thinly
6-7 sliced mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T. parsley
1 T. butter
Drippings from pan, fat removed if desired
1/4 – 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. fruit sauce (small 8 oz. can cranberry sauce with whole fruit or 1 c. apple sauce)
1/4 c. heavy cream
Salt and pepper
1. Roast turkey according to package directions and weight.
2. Remove turkey from oven, place on cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Reserve drippings. (Use fat separator if desired and discard the fat that rises to the top.)
3. In heavy bottomed saucepan, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat and saute green onions and mushrooms, five minutes. Add garlic clove and parsley and cook, stirring, for one minute.
4. Add juices from roasting pan.
5. Add chicken broth, fruit sauce, and bring to a slow boil. Lower heat to low. Stir in the 1 T. butter and the cream. Heat gently until steaming. Add salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, slice the turkey.
6. Serve turkey with the sauce.
The same sauce can be make with roast chicken, or pork roast or even pork chops. If using pork roast or chops, brown the pork in a skillet in hot olive oil, remove to oven roaster and roast as needed. Prepare the sauce in the skillet keeping the browned bits in the skillet to add flavor to the sauce. Nummy.
(See separate posting “I’ll Give you the Raspberries” for another sauce that would be great with a turkey breast. Use search term “raspberries”.)