Credit: Stephe Tate Photo (Source: Page 122 of Company's Coming Home for the Holidays by Jean Pare)
Just when I thought Thanksgiving would be a little less challenging this year, I had to let my turkey-loving family members read my Gluten-Free Veggie Meatloaf article.
Bad, bad mistake.
One sentence did me in. It was the line, "This year, I decided I'm not going to bother roasting a huge turkey."
Suddenly I heard someone gasp, "What? No turkey? No stuffing? But I love your turkey dinners Rose. I was planning on bringing you a crate a special homemade wine that would be perfect with your turkey."
Damn, my Achilles' heel - free wine along with a good dose of Catholic guilt - my defenses began to weaken.
"Alright!" I blurted out, "Would a stuffed breast of turkey do? I think doing a huge turkey for the three of you might be a bit of a waste."
A few seconds later, I got the you're only getting a few bottles of wine now look, but I had to compromise. "I'll even throw in a special new cranberry stuffing," I offered. (Hmm, maybe I'll get half a crate of wine).
Using Bone-In Turkey Breast
And stuffing the "outer" pockets
My recipe is based on one called Stuffed Turkey Breast from page 121 in Company's Coming Home for the Holidays by Jean Pare. I swapped out some of the original ingredients for gluten-free bread crumbs, Canadian maple syrup, salted butter and Bell's All Natural Salt-Free Poultry/Turkey Seasoning.
What I love about Jean Pare's method is you can use bone-in turkey breasts and just cut little pockets in the outer surface of the meat to hold the stuffing. I also feel this ensures the stuffing is thoroughly cooked (no one needs a bout of Salmonella enterocolitis
You'll need a sharp knife though, so you don't pull the skin off in sections while you make the pockets. Oh and make sure you have some butcher's twine. I like to tie my breasts loosely so the stuffing peeks out and gets toasty brown. Hmm, that sounds a wee bit naughty, doesn't it?
G-F Stuffed Turkey Breast
Serves: 5 | Prep: 30 mins | Total: 2.5 hrs
Note: If you are not on a gluten-free diet, just use regular bread crumbs. Also, I used maple syrup instead of 1 tbsp. of packed brown sugar (choice is yours) and I omitted 1/8 tsp. of allspice from the stuffing (I'm just not keen on it).
5 - 6 lbs. (2.25 - 2.7 kg) whole bone-in turkey breast
1/2 cup onion (diced)
1/2 cup celery (diced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/4 cup salted* butter
2/3 cup cranberries (chopped)
1/2 cup tart cooking apple like a Granny Smith (peeled and grated)
1/2 cup gluten-free fine dry bread crumbs
2 tsp. maple syrup (Grade A or B)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt* (if using unsalted butter, use 1/2 tsp. salt)
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
About 1 tbsp. unsweetened pure apple juice OR water (using just enough to moisten the stuffing)
Drizzle on top:
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/2 - 2/3 tsp. Bell's All Natural Salt-Free Poultry / Turkey Seasoning
Sprinkle of freshly ground pepper
Wash, dice, mince, chop, peel and grate all your produce first.
In a large fry pan over med-high heat, melt butter and stir-fry celery and onions (about 4 - 5 mins). Onion should be translucent and soft (but not brown). Add minced garlic and remove pan from heat (stir garlic in pan for another minute). Burnt garlic tastes blah.
Add the cranberries, apple, bread crumbs, maple syrup, and all the spices to the fry pan (but NOT the apple juice) and combine everything thoroughly.
Next, add just enough apple juice (or water) to moisten the stuffing (you want it to "hold together" when it's squeezed). Set pan with stuffing near where you'll be prepping your turkey breast.
Ensure oven racks are set so your stuffed turkey breast will roast in the center and preheat to 325 F (160 C). Get out your roasting pan (I use one with a little wire rack inside it - makes it easier to baste).
On a cutting board for meat, place turkey breast skin side up. With a sharp knife, cut slices to form pockets in the meat (about 1-inch apart) crosswise. Cut right to the bone on both sides (these pockets will be holding the stuffing).
Spoon the stuffing as evenly as possible into the turkey pockets. It's okay to fill them pretty full.
Using butcher's twine, loosely tie up the breast in a couple of places horizontally to hold the stuffing and slices together. Place turkey, cut side up, in your roasting pan.
Put your cutting board, knife, etc. (anything that touched raw turkey juices) away and wash your hands well.
Lastly, do the drizzle on top. Pour melted butter over stuffed turkey breast (use the back of a spoon to spread it). Sprinkle with Bell's Turkey Seasoning, salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and roast for 1-1/2 to 2 hours (basting turkey every 20 - 30 mins with juices from bottom of roaster).
Once a meat thermometer reads 180 F (82 C), increase oven temperature to 400 F (205 C) and remove cover. Roast your stuffed turkey breast for about 10 - 15 minutes until skin is golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Scanpan 18/10 Stainless Steel Roasting Rack
Scanpan 18/10 Stainless Steel Roasting Rack, Medium
Scanpan Roasting Rack
18/10 Stainless Steel (Medium or Large)
Scanpan 18/10 Stainless Steel Roasting Rack, Medium
Amazon Price: $34.99 $24.95
(price as of Jun 27, 2015)
I've always been told I have a nice rack. So, I thought I'd show you mine. I have a "thing" for anything made of 18/10 stainless steel, it seems to last forever and is dishwasher-safe. What I like about this roasting rack is the curved base that helps to raise the edge of my roasts just enough so they are easy to baste in the pan. The medium one measures 10-1/4 x 7-3/4 x 2-1/4 inches and the large one is 13-3/4 x 11-1/4 x 2-1/2 inches.