Week 16 – Turkey & All The Fixin’s

Week 16 –

No Messing Around Turkey Dinner – Crispin Courtenay, Temecula Valley Chef

Here’s an easy and painless way for you to make a home-cooked holiday meal, with very little fuss or effort. You will need approximately 3 hours set aside to create this meal.

Sage Roasted Turkey Breast
Mourvedre Pan Gravy
Sausage Stuffing
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Carrots
Poached Pears with port syrup and whipped cream.

Feeds 6 – 8

This menu is dirt simple, the trick is to be organized and enjoy your day. A bottle of ‘cooking wine’ for the Cook, tends to make the day go by quickly.

A note about timing:

Everything listed, save the Turkey, may be cooked ahead and reheated at the last minute. This menu is presented in a logical order, follow the guidelines and you should have a great meal, with no stress. If you can get a helper with dishes, your day will go that much smoother.

5 pound Turkey Breast, free range, natural fed is worth the price premium
¼ pound Normandy style butter (KeriGold is an excellent choice)
1 bunch of Fresh Purple Sage, plucked, readily available this time of year
1 shallot or ¼ Vidalia onion, diced
½ tsp Sea Salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper (feel free to substitute Tellicherry or Balinese Pepper)
1 Cup Mourvedre, could substitute Beaujolais.

Warm butter to room temperature, mix with Sage leaves and Shallot or Onion.

The next part is messy, and requires strong hands.

Starting at the back of the breast lift off the skin, you may need to cut it a little where it attaches to the bone. Work your hand forward and to the sides, loosening the skin, but leave it attached all around. Grab the butter and apply an even coat to the top of the breast. Rearrange the skin so it is smooth and covers the breast. Add generous salt and pepper to the top and bottom, place on a baking pan at 275 degrees and cook for proximately 3 hours. Remove from the oven when Turkey reaches 160 degrees in it’s thickest part, remove from roasting pan and let rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes before slicing.

Do not try to slice the Turkey right out of the oven, it will disintegrate and you will lose all the juices. The resulting dryness will cause your guests to drink more than their fair share of your good wine…something to be avoided at all costs!

Grab some oven mitts, place the roasting pan directly on the stove, and turn on both burners. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of Mourvedre and add to the gravy that you have simmering away in the corner.

Mourvedre Pan Gravy
1 pint chicken stock (if you feel like showing off make your own), Tetra packs that say ‘Organic’, and do not have ‘Yeast’ as a flavoring component are what to look for. Never buy cans, nor major brand name mass produced Salt Water.
1 cup Mourvedre wine, could substitute Beaujolais
1 dozen Sage Leaves, reserved from Turkey recipe.
¼ pound Normandy Butter, reserved from Turkey recipe.
2 each, carrot, celery diced
4 shallots or one onion
1/3 bunch parsley
Giblets from Turkey, if available
4 tbls flour

Bring the chicken stock to boil, add celery, shallot or onion, carrot, giblets. Simmer for one hour, add parsley and cook for 30 minutes more. Strain and reserve or keep on low heat until the Turkey is ready. When you have deglazed the pan, add to your sauce, bring to boil, remove and strain again. Return to the stove and whisk in Roux until a nice thick constancy is reached. Season to taste, keep warm until ready to serve, if it starts to separate, use the whisk to reincorporate it.

Optional: For a richer sauce, add ½ cup heavy cream prior to the Roux.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan then add flour, cook slowly over low heat for 30 minutes until golden and very fragrant. Set aside the Roux until ready to finish the sauce.

Sausage Stuffing
One Package Breakfast Sausages, cooked then chopped fine
2 tbls Winter Savory
Small White Onion, minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine to deglaze, Viogner, Chennin Blanc or similar.
6 cups dried bread cubes, use stale loaves or buy at the store
2 eggs
2 cups milk
½ tsp salt, Pinch of Pepper

Cook Sausage, drain fat, remove and let cool. Chop into small dice.

While Sausage is cooking mince onion and garlic. Drain fat out of sausage pan, but do not clean, add onion and garlic, sautée until brown, deglaze with wine.

Soak break in milk for 5 minutes, squeeze dry and discard milk.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Place in a casserole dish with a right fitting lit, alternately, a meatloaf pan with tinfoil. Place in oven 45 minutes before dinner to finish (155 degrees).

Cranberry Sauce
One Bag Cranberries
1 orange squeezed, or ½ cup orange juice
½ – 1 cup Turbino Sugar (Can substitute White Sugar)

Optional: Slash of Rum or Brandy

Place Cranberries in a large bowl of cold water, skim off all cranberries that float, discard the sinkers. Add cranberries, ½ the sugar, and orange juice to a pot and bring to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more sugar to taste. You can serve warm or cold, there should be enough pectin to firm up, if not add 2 TBLS corn starch and 2 TBLS water to mixture, and bring to a boil.

Hint: for fine consistency, use a stick blender, then press through a fine mesh strainer.

Roasted Carrots
2 pounds carrots, peeled then shredded in the food processor or Box Grater
1 half onion, shredded or sliced fine
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ pound melted butter
½ tsp salt
4 tbls chopped herb for garnish.

Add all ingredients except for garnish into a oven proof pan. Place in oven 45 minutes before dinner. When done, mix in herbs and check seasoning.

Poached Pears with Port Syrup and Whipped Cream.

4 pears, peeled
½ bottle Port
1/8 tsp nutmeg, cinnamon, mace and cloves
½ cup sugar
fresh orange juice to cove pears

Place everything in a small stainless steel pot, with a heat-proof saucer on top to hold down the pears. Add Orange Juice to cover. Simmer until a knife is able to pierce pear with little resistance. Cool pears. Strain sauce and bring to a boil, reduce until syrupy.

Meanwhile, add 1 tsp vanilla extract or one scraped vanilla bean, ¼ cup of sugar and 1 cup of heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Beat until still peaks.

Quarter pears, remove core. Two per plate, drizzle with syrup then a dollop of cream

For sources or more information please contact Crispin at courten@hotmail.com or http://www.facebook.com/crispin.courtenay