Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

So by now you may have heard about our small time Thanksgiving tradition of having Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf instead of a whole turkey. It’s a much more practical approach when you’re only feeding a few people, but beyond that, it’s absolutely delicious. I actually prefer it to a traditional turkey, and now I look forward to eating turkey meatloaf every year. 

But maybe you’re not quite ready to be so untraditional. Maybe you can’t imagine Thanksgiving without white meat covered in gravy. Maybe you want a beautiful centerpiece of a gorgeously roasted bird on your Thanksgiving table. Maybe you’re looking for a turkey recipe that makes just the right amount for a small family of four to six people that’s perfectly seasoned and never dry. A turkey recipe that’s pretty much foolproof that makes plenty of flavorful gravy. This is that.

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This brined and roasted turkey breast with herb gravy is super simple. Since you’re only cooking the breast of the turkey, it usually cooks in less than three hours. Mine was two kilos, and it was done in two hours and 20 minutes. If you eat later in the day, you could even brine it in the morning. And in case you were thinking of skipping the brine, I strongly urge you to avoid that notion. Brining is absolutely key to ensuring a moist and well-seasoned turkey breast.

The gravy comes together quickly and easily as well. The trick is to smash the flour and butter together into a paste so you won’t have any lumps. The fresh herbs will make your gravy seem all sophisticated and junk. Your family’s gonna love it.

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I made this recipe for the first ever Thanksgiving dinner I made myself. I was so nervous, but it came out beautiful, and has done every time since. I hope it works as well for you.

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy
Serves 6
Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy is moist and flavorful every time. I promise, you can't mess it up.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr 20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr 20 min
For the turkey
  1. 8 cups water
  2. 1/2 cup salt, plus a few pinches for seasoning
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 medium turkey crown (breast)
  5. 4 ounces butter, melted
  6. Ground black pepper
For the gravy
  1. 1 shallot, minced
  2. 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peels
  3. Leaves of 1 sprig of rosemary, minced
  4. Leaves of 1 sprig of thyme, minced
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. Ground black pepper
  8. 1.5 ounces butter
  9. 3 tablespoons plain flour
  10. 4 cups low sodium chicken or turkey stock
For the turkey
  1. To make your brine, add the water, salt, and brown sugar to a large pot. Choose something that will allow your turkey breast to be completely submerged. Heat the water and stir until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to come back to room temperature. Putting a cold turkey in hot brine is like creating a bacteria factory.
  2. Completely submerge your turkey in the brine, clamp a lid on, and refrigerate the whole thing for 4 to 8 hours.
  3. When your ready to roast, remove your turkey from the brine, and discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry with a few paper towels.
  4. Preheat your oven to 325.
  5. Situate your turkey breast in your roasting pan. Brush your melted butter all over your turkey and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast your turkey for approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 170. My turkey breast's packaging conveniently had a suggested cooking time that turned out to be perfect, so check your package.
  7. Once your turkey is cooked through, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board. I used a couple of pairs of tongs for this. Cover loosely in foil. Let it rest while you make the gravy.
For the gravy
  1. Pour the liquid from the pan into a bowl or measuring jug. Allow it to sit while you prep the rest f your gravy ingredients so that the fat and liquid start to separate.
  2. Get everything for your gravy ready before you put anything on the heat so that you can move easily from step to step. Put your shallot, garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay salt, and pepper into a small dish together. In another dish, use a fork to smash your butter and flour together into a paste.
  3. Add two tablespoons of the fat that's risen to the top of your separated pan drippings back into your roasting pan. Pour or spoon off the rest of the fat so that you can add the flavorful liquid to the stock later.
  4. Situate the roasting pan over two burners, and turn them both to medium. Add your shallot and herb mixture to the roasting pan and sautee for about three minutes to soften the shallot.
  5. Add the stock and any remaining turkey juices back into the roasting pan. Scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring the stock to a boil.
  6. Whisk in your butter and flour mixture. Boil until the sauce thickens about 5 minutes.
  7. Give it a taste and adjust your seasoning if need be. Pull out the bay leaf and garlic cloves before serving.
Adapted from Food Network
Adapted from Food Network
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Ham & Turkey Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

One benefit of living in a cold country is that you can use your oven all year round. There’s never a time when you feel obligated to eat stupid salad because it’s so hot in your kitchen you could cry. This does not happen in Scotland. No dumb summer salad eating here. It’s pot pie all the time.

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Ham & Turkey Pot Pie recipe is really going to come in handy after the holidays when you have lots of leftovers in your fridge begging to be reinvented. But I’m here to tell you that you need not wait for the day after a feast. I made this with thick cut deli meat, and it was still completely awesome.

The filling of this pie is really more like a thick soup, which is why I recommend baking it in individual portions. That way everyone gets just the right ratio of crust to filling. You could also add some other vegetables if you’re into that. Whatever floats your boat, friends.

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you have to wear a sweater year round, you might as well stop worrying about your bikini body and just eat the comfort food. Start with Ham & Turkey Pot Pie. It’s gonna be awesome.

Ham & Turkey Pot Pie
Serves 3
Ham & Turkey Pot Pie is comfort food you can eat any time of year.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
For the crust
  1. 3 ounces cold butter, cut into small bits
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 egg yolk
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 1 to 2 teaspoons very cold water
For the filling
  1. 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
  2. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  3. 2-1/3 cups chicken stock
  4. 1 cup heavy cream
  5. 5 to 6 slices thick cut ham, cut into bite-size pieces
  6. 5 to 6 slices thick cut turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
  7. 1 cup corn kernels
For the filling
  1. Add the pieces of butter and flour to a food processor and pulse until you have a sandy mixture. Add the yolk, salt, and 1 teaspoon of water. Process until the dough just starts to form into a ball. You may need to add a bit more water. Just add a few drops at a time until everything comes together.
  2. Dump your dough onto some plastic wrap. Give it a few squishes to bring everything together, then pat it out into a disc. Wrap it in the plastic wrap and stash it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
For the filling
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. In a roomy sauce pan, melt your butter over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour until it starts to smell a bit nutty. Add the stock about 1/3 cup at a time. Whisk until smooth before adding more liquid. Once all your stock is mixed in smoothly, stir in the cream and allow it to come to a low simmer to thicken slightly. Finally, stir in the ham, turkey, and corn.
  3. Spoon your filling into the vessel or vessels of your choice. You can do it all in one pie pan, or separate it into individual servings.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, you're going to roll out your dough. If you're doing individual servings, cut your dough into as many pieces as you'll need first. Pop each piece back in the fridge until you're ready to roll. Roll your dough out to fit your vessel. Use a fork to press the dough down onto the pan around the edges and pierce the dough with a sharp knife in a few places to vent.
  5. Slide your pie(s) into the oven. If you're baking in multiple pans, put them all on a baking sheet first to make transfer easier. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  6. Your pies will be super hot, so give them a good 10 minutes to cool off before you dig in.
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Easy Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

East Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

Woah! Now hang on there, folks. This looks like healthy food. There’s green things and red things and orange things that crunch! Don’t worry, I haven’t gone crazy. It’s actually Geoff that’s writing this post! I wanted to show you guys that healthy(ish) stuff doesn’t have to be tasteless. 

Pepper and Stuffing

This dish is so easy, even someone with the culinary skills of a teaspoon can make it, and make it look good! I used ground turkey because I was trying to be healthy but you can use beef, chicken, ostrich or gator if you like. The cheese and the chilies stop the meat from getting too dry in the oven and the peppers offer a refreshing juiciness! If you wanted to get a little more adventurous, try adding some refried beans and some taco seasoning to the meat and make the Mexican version! The great thing about this meal is that you can very easily customize it and make it your own!

Stuffed Peppers on a Plate

Thanks for being a captive audience while Renee is at work. Cooking is not my forte and it made me insanely happy that these turned out just right! I think I might actually have some temp work lined up next week but if not, you should stay tuned for more healthy(ish) recipes!

Easy Cheesy Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4
A quick and easy recipe for a tasty dinner!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Bell Peppers (any color)
  2. 1 pound of ground turkey
  3. 3.5 oz green chilies (diced)
  4. 1 sachet of your favorite microwave rice
  5. 2 ts cayenne pepper
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. 3 oz sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. Add the chilies to a frying pan and cook until starting to brown.
  3. Add the turkey to the pan.
  4. Add in the cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to season the meat.
  5. Cook until all the turkey has browned.
  6. Pop the rice (I recommend Spanish rice) into the microwave.
  7. Mix the turkey mixture, rice and 2 oz of shredded cheese together in a mixing bowl and put to the side.
  8. Cut the top off your bell peppers and remove the seeds and other innards!
  9. Fill your peppers with you turkey-rice-cheese mixture and place onto a foil-lined baking tray.
  10. Put the peppers into the oven for 30 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top of the peppers and put back into the oven for a couple of minutes for the cheese to melt.
  12. Be careful not to burn your mouth on the juicy awesomeness!
http://awesomeon20.com/
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