If you love Maple Syrup and Turkey, then put them together for a great Easter Dinner!
Actually, this recipe can be used for any special dinner, it doesn't have to be reserved just for Easter, but with Easter just around the corner, and the maple syrup flowing right now, this is a great time to make it.
For this recipe, I use a boneless turkey breast, rather than a whole turkey. I don't have the huge family gatherings anymore, but this works great with those boneless turkey breasts. I am sure if you are creative you can use it with a larger dinner, but for this recipe, I used the boneless turkey breast. (make sure it says boneless, or you will be trying to flatten the bones!) I also like the skin on, this keeps the turkey moist.
Things You Will Need
This recipe makes a batch of stuffing and a maple butter sauce.
1-2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of chopped onions (I like them finely chopped but this is up to you)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of sage, chopped
1/2 cup of frozen cranberries, chopped up
1-1/2 cups of cooked rice (your choice, but I like the wild rice for this)
salt and pepper to your taste.
For the sauce
3/4 cups of real maple syrup (why not get it at one of the maple syrup festivals going on?)
1/2 cup of softened butter
1 teaspoon dried sage
4 - 6 large carrots for the roasting pan (this way you have your veggies too!)
In a large pot, on medium heat, heat up the 1-2 tablespoons of butter, and saute the onions until soft, add garlic, sage and the chopped cranberries. Saute for a few minutes more until the cranberries are soft. Then stir in your cooked rice, add some salt and pepper to taste. This is your stuffing. Set this aside and now create your Maple Sauce.
In a small bowl combine the maple syrup and the 1/2 cup of softened butter.
Take your turkey breast and place it flat down on a board and then flatten the turkey breast with a meat mallet or a rolling pin. (I find a rolling pin works well too). Until the turkey breast looks about the same thickness. Put a piece of waxed paper over top of the turkey when you are hitting it with the mallet or rolling pin.
Take Your "Maple Butter" and spread about 1/4 cup of it on the open turkey breast, then fill it with your stuffing mixture. Then carefully fold the turkey breast over the stuffing, and secure shut with string or skewers. You can try and roll it, (like a jam roll) if your turkey breast is big enough, but I find it is easier to just fold it in half.
Put your carrots in the bottom of a greased roasting pan and put your folded turkey breast carefully on top of the carrots and then spread another 1/4 cup of the maple butter on the turkey breast, and then season to taste with some salt and pepper and the dried sage, then cover and bake until your maple turkey is done. I use a meat thermometer to be sure, as times can vary for cooking and turkey needs to be well cooked.
Just before your turkey is ready, take the rest of the "maple butter" in a pan and heat over medium heat until it starts to boil. Keep it on low heat and stir, until it begins to thicken, then remove from heat.
After your turkey has cooked, let it sit for five minutes (this makes turkey easier to slice), they call it "resting". Slice your turkey breast in one inch thick slices and serve with the roasted carrots and the heated maple sauce.
This is a really yummy recipe.. Now all you need is a potato dish and you are done.
An alternative to bashing the turkey breast flat, is to take a complete thawed or fresh turkey breast and carefully slice it and stuff it that way, but I find by flattening it, you can get more stuffing in there, and it is more like a maple turkey roll.
This tastes like Spring!