I know I sound like a broken record but our weather is horrible! I guess we are receiving the giant weather bill for our glorious summer. These dark, grey days make me crave comfort food more than normal. Turkey dinner is one of my favorite in the comfort food department. I have “turkey dinner spots” all across the country. Almost every NYC deli has a good turkey dinner – check out the diner at the Edison Hotel near Times Square. At our favorite beach spot, it is the Lumberyard Grill & Rotisserie in Cannon Beach, Oregon.
In addition to being a warm, comforting meal, it is economical. We always have a turkey breast, or two, in the freezer. In the summertime, we grill them on the rotisserie or smoke them in the smoker. My favorite, however, is the old fashioned way. Smothered in poultry seasoning, roasted slowly and served with stuffing and gravy! YUMM! Not to mention the sandwiches….! I’ll also share some of my “must have” products with you, to help with the big turkey event, later next month!
The turkey breast is all white meat and low in fat. There is virtually no waste, unlike a whole turkey. And, it is extremely easy to prepare! It is important to season it well and provide moisture, while it cooks. To impart a lot of flavor and end up with good gravy “fixings” I always cook the breast on a bed of herbs and vegetables. I used carrots, fennel, celery, onion, sage, thyme, and rosemary. To start, heat the oven to 325′. I have a Convection Roast feature I love to use, with a temperature probe option.
Place the breast on the bed of veggies and herbs. Pat dry. Give it an olive oil massage. Season with Poultry Seasoning, Garlic Pepper and Kosher Salt. If you are from the Northeast, I am sure you know about Bell’s. Not always easy to find in the West – it is worth the search!
One of my must have holiday items, very poorly lit, is Better Than Bouillon Turkey Base. They make many other stock bases that are very useful. Place two Tablespoons Turkey base into the roasting pan with a cup of water. Roast the turkey until the temperature in the meatiest part reaches 165′. About 2 hours for an 8 pound breast.
While the turkey is roasting, prepare the stuffing. I have many favorites, but not all are available all year around. My mom has always used Mrs. Cubbison’s, so when going for the comfort factor, that is what I tend to grab. Follow the directions on the package! Don’t skip the celery and onions.
When the turkey is done, remove from baking pan and place on a plate. Cover it loosely with foil. It needs to rest at least 15 minutes, before carving.
Pour the pan juices through a strainer into a pot to make the gravy. Smash the veggies with a spoon against the sides of the strainer, to extract all their yumminess!
Pour the broth into a fat separator. You don’t know what that is? Awesome device. If you wash dishes by hand, I would make sure I get a glass unit, as the plastic seems to hold on to the fat. I use this whenever I make soup, broth, gravy etc…. Yes you can skim with a spoon, or chill until the fat solidifies, but that’s a lot of extra time and work!
Return the pan drippings to a small saucepan. Make a thickening for the gravy. I use 3-4 Tablespoons of Wondra Flour and 1/4 cup of cold water. Mix the flour and water well, stir into simmering pan juices. Whisk until sauce thickens. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve.
We served the turkey and stuffing with oven roasted Brussels sprouts and lingonberries. The best thing about turkey dinner, are the turkey sandwiches that follow. Enjoy!