This year, Thanksgiving has snuck up on me; and what’s so weird is that I’ve actually been anticipating it for months now, as autumn is my absolute favorite season and T-Day probably my favorite holiday.
I mean, I’ve been fantasizing about it since, I don’t know, July? So what the heck happened?
Well, here’s the thing: if you’re a non-food blogging-type (in other words, a normal person), then it’s fairly safe to assume that your focus is probably on the T-Day meal as a totality for that specific day, so you know that you’ve still got a little time to cinch everything together for yourself; but for us food-blogger types, we begin planning what recipes we’ll be posting to share so that they’re available well in advance, and so that you, the reader, have ample time to get your recipe ideas to plan that special family meal.
So long story short, I must have been in a trance the first half of November (can I blame it on alien abduction?) because when I realized the start date of our Thanksgiving series would leave me only two weeks prior to Thanksgiving day to share, oh…about 7 recipes I originally had planned(!!), I slightly panicked.
Somehow, I got it in my head that I’d have three weeks to share—go figure. I turned to my husband and said, “We’ll only have two weeks to post all of these recipes!? How did it happen that we’re not starting with this series until the 17th?!” At which point he calmly turned to me and offered, “Yeah, I thought it was interesting that you said you had 6 or 7 recipes you wanted to share in this amount of time…”—that’s my hubs, he was “with the program”, while I, apparently, wasn’t.
Anyway, a couple of cuts had to be made to the recipe list in-turn, and now those recipes have a home on the upcoming “Cozy Christmas” series list, so all wasn’t lost as they’ll see the light of day, yet. But geesh, what a way to start this series, right? Hello…!?
Well, I’m here and well-organized now, and I’m thrilled to be bringing you a good handful of Thanksgiving recipes in the upcoming posts that’ll be both originals and classics with a twist. You ready?
For most of us, much of the Thanksgiving Day feast centers around the turkey, with all the rest of the offerings there to deliciously and uniquely support it.
And that’s definitely not to say that all of the various sides aren’t completely and delectable as important—they are! They’re utterly awesome! They’re what give savory and sweet variety to the feast.
But the turkey is what is typically at the center of the table, the star at the center of the Thanksgiving universe, so to speak.
And though a whole, golden-brown roasted turkey is truly something to behold, depending on the size of your get-together (or depending on if more folks prefer the white meat to the dark), you may be looking for something just a little different to be a part of your beautiful spread.
And I’ve got just the recipe for it!
A crispy-skinned, juicy, herbaceous and sweet cider-glazed roasted turkey breast roulade with a cranberry, hazelnut and sage stuffing—one festive offering!
Butterflied and generously filled, then rolled up and roasted until golden, this easy-to-slice-and-serve turkey “main dish” is both a classic and an original. You can even make it little extra decadent and drizzle it with some simple savory herb gravy, as well.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for (and craving!) a cozy and delicious Thanksgiving holiday feast.
And though time seemed to have gotten away from me in the beginning here, I’m back on track and anticipating having some fun whipping up some comforting staples to share here with you, as well as at my own table.
So here’s to getting ready to enjoy some scrumptious food, and I truly hope that you have fun planning your feast over the next couple of weeks. Gobble, gobble!
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Roasted Turkey Breast Roulade
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 6-8
• 2 turkey breast halves (about 2 – 2 ¼ lbs each), skin-on but bones/ribs removed (*see note)
• 6 ounces french-style rolls
• ½ cup dried cranberries
• ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped (**see note)
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• Black pepper
• ½ cup chicken stock
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• Kitchen twine, to secure roulades
• Sweet, Spiced-Cider Glaze (recipe below)
(The prep for this recipe can be done even a couple of days ahead of time, up to the point of roasting; just keep the roulades on a plate wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to roast and serve.)
(*If your butcher can’t de-bone the turkey breasts for you, just use a sharp fillet-style knife and carefully cut the breast meat away from the bones/ribs.)
(**If you can’t find toasted hazelnuts, just add them to a pan over medium-high heat and toast them for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.)
-Preheat the oven to 375°, and place a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet.
-Place one of the de-boned turkey breasts on a cutting board in front of you, and very carefully separate the skin from the meat by placing your fingers underneath and pulling it off so as not to poke any holes if possible (you will reserve the skin, as the roulade will be wrapped in it before roasting), and set the skin aside for a moment.
-With the skin removed, butterfly the turkey breast by cutting through the thickest part of the breast, being careful not to cut all the way through—you just want to open up the the breast, kind of like a book, and have a larger, thinner piece; set that aside with its skin for a moment.
-Repeat the process with the other turkey breast.
-Place one butterflied turkey breast between two pieces of plastic wrap, and using a meat mallet, gently pound the breast out to make it a bit thinner and more even; repeat the process with the other breast; set them aside.
-Prepare the stuffing by tearing the rolls into small pieces into a bowl, and then add to the bread the cranberries, hazelnuts, sage, Italian seasoning, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper; toss this mixture to combine these ingredients.
-Next, add to the stuffing ingredients the chicken stock and the melted butter, and toss everything very well with your hands to combine the ingredients and moisten the torn rolls well.
-Place one of the butterflied turkey breasts horizontally in front of you; sprinkle on a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and then add half of the stuffing onto the breast meat leaving a little border; begin rolling the breast upwards, carefully, until rolled (if you happen to have any little holes or rips in the meat, don’t worry—just tuck them in as much as possible, as you’ll be able to hide those once the skin is added); lay the roulade on it’s seam.
-Next, carefully cover the roulade in it’s reserved skin, by gently stretching and smoothing the skin over it to wrap the roulade as much as possible; then, cut 4 pieces of kitchen twine, and tie them around the roulade to secure it and help it to hold together while it roasts.
-Repeat the process of stuffing, rolling and tying process with the other breast.
-Place the two roulades on the wire rack-lined baking sheet; next, take the Sweet, Spiced-Cider Glaze and pour about 1/3 of it into a small dish or ramekin (reserve the remaining 2/3 to use on the cooked roulade and at the table), and brush a bit of the glaze over each roulade, getting under the kitchen twine, and sprinkle over another pinch of black pepper; place an oven-safe digital thermometer into the center of one of the roulades, and place them into the oven to roast for about 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the thermometer reaches 160°. (If you see that the skin is beginning to get too dark while roasting, just cover the roulades with some foil.)
-Once roasted, allow the roulades to rest lightly covered with foil for about 10-15 minutes; then, cut off the kitchen twine, glaze the roulades again (this time with the reserved glaze), and slice them into medallions to serve.
Sweet Spiced-Cider Glaze Ingredients:
• ¾ cup apple cider
• ¼ cup honey
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tabelspoon apple cider vinegar
• ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
• Pinch salt
-Add all ingredients to a saucepan, and whisk to combine; set the heat on medium-high, and once the mixture comes to the boil, reduce the heat to medium-low or low and allow the liquid to gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until reduced by almost half and just slightly thickened (the glaze will thicken more as it cools); strain the glaze into a clean container, and allow it to completely cool before glazing the roulades. (This recipe can be made in advance.)