Turkey Breast w/ Fruity Savory Stuffing

December 25th is not only Christmas Day, but it holds an extra special meaning for our family. It is my sister Rita’s birth date. When we were growing up, being able to enjoy all the great things that come with the Christmas meal as well as birthday cake …. could it get better than that!!

Although your family’s Christmas traditions may vary depending on the culture you were raised in, we like to think food is a language that needs no translation. I believe that many of our dishes are from an assortment of different cultures mixed into one recipe. Such is the case of our turkey dinner this year. I’ve incorporated a Moroccan inspired fruit stuffing along with our traditional savory one.

In view of the ongoing pandemic, hopefully caution will be taken in the holiday events your involved in. The best gift you can give this Christmas is not infecting others with Covid-19.

As much as I like certain aspects of the Christmas season, I find it becomes a little overwhelming. It seems a massive wave of Christmas capitalism takes over every aspect of one’s life from the end of October to January. I like to call it a form of OCD: Obsessive Christmas Disorder.

I was raised on a farm in southern Alberta at a time when Christmas celebrations were focused around our family blessings and not how many blow-up Santa Clauses or realistic sleighs we set up on our front lawns.

It would almost seem more importance is being given to getting more likes on Facebook & Instagram than it is carrying on a tradition based on family.

This year will not be perfect, it never is, and the holidays are a hard enough time for many, regardless of pandemics and catastrophic weather. I hope there will still be a little magic for everyone, however you spend the holidays.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RITA!

WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH & ARE SHARING YOUR DAY IN OUR THOUGHTS

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Turkey Breast w/ Fruity Savory Stuffing
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
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Rate this recipe!
Servings
SERVINGS
Ingredients
Fruit Stuffing
Savory Stuffing
Herb Butter
Servings
SERVINGS
Ingredients
Fruit Stuffing
Savory Stuffing
Herb Butter
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Fruit Stuffing
  1. In a small bowl, combine dates, apricots, raisins, apple & orange juice & zest; season with spices & mix well. Set aside to marinate.
Savory Stuffing
  1. In a saucepan, sauté onion, celery, garlic, mushrooms & seasonings in margarine. Remove from heat.
  2. Place vegetable/seasoning mixture in a large bowl & combine with dry bread cubes & broth, adding only enough broth to make proper stuffing consistency. Set aside.
Turkey
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Lay turkey breast on a clean work surface so that it lies open & flat. Cover with plastic wrap, then pound lightly with a meat mallet to flatten into an even thickness all over. Discard plastic wrap.
  3. On one half of the turkey breast spread a thick layer of the savory stuffing then top it with the fruit stuffing. Fold the adjoining half of the turkey breast over all. Fasten with metal skewers if you wish to help to keep stuffing enclosed.
  4. Place a wire rack in a roasting pan & lay stuffed turkey roast on it. Brush herb butter over turkey breast. Roast uncovered, until turkey reaches an internal temperature of 180 F. about 2 hours. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly.
  5. Place any extra savory stuffing in a buttered casserole & bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is lightly toasted.
  6. Remove turkey breast from oven, tent with foil & allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes. Make sure to remove all toothpicks and/or skewers before slicing to serve.
Recipe Notes
  • You will notice the recipe for the savory stuffing is well more than what is needed to stuff the turkey breast. For me personally, the stuffing is the most important part of the whole meal so I made sure there would be lots. 
  • Don't hesitate to half the recipe if you feel its more than what you need.

Turkey Thighs w/ Persimmon Sage Stuffing

Cooking turkey parts instead of the entire bird serves a few purposes. It not only cuts way back on the cooking time but it allows you to cook more of your favorite pieces. For dark meat lovers, roasted turkey thighs are the perfect option as the meat is succulent and flavorful without losing its moistness during the roasting time.

As soon as I spot persimmons in the grocery store I can’t resist them. Persimmons are in season between November and February. They are mildly sweet and juicy with a slight crunch reminiscent of a cross between a peach and a pear. Since there is only a short window in which you can enjoy this exotic fruit, persimmons make up for it by working well in both sweet and savory recipes.

In acknowledgement to the USA Thanksgiving today (November 25th), I’m stuffing some turkey thighs with an interesting dressing containing persimmons & fresh sage. I know most people have their own traditional, go-to‘ stuffing recipes, but I’m hoping at least a few will venture from the norm and try a little persimmon in your stuffing. I can assure you, its worth it.

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Turkey Thighs w/ Persimmon Sage Stuffing
Instructions
Stuffing
  1. Preheat oven to 200 F. On a parchment or foil lined baking sheet, spread out the cubes of bread. Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly toasted yet still pale in color. Set aside. Turn oven off until ready to bake ready to roast thighs if you wish.
  2. In a large saucepan or pot over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil & 1 Tbsp butter. When butter has melted, add the shallot, celery & leek. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, sage, thyme & pepper; cook until mixture is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth and toss lightly until everything is completely mixed. Give the stuffing a taste & add salt to your personal taste. Fold in the beaten egg & cubed persimmons; toss lightly till combined.
Herb Butter
  1. In a small dish, combine all herb butter ingredients & set aside.
Assembly & Baking
  1. Arrange turkey thighs, skin side down on a work surface so they lay open & flat. Cover with plastic wrap, then pound lightly with a meat mallet to flatten to an even thickness.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Discard plastic wrap; spread stuffing over 2 turkey thighs, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edge. Top each with a remaining turkey thigh. Butter a casserole dish with remaining butter & transfer any leftover stuffing to casserole dish, spreading it out evenly.
  4. Line a roasting pan with heavy duty foil paper. Grease foil on the bottom of pan & place the stuffed turkey thighs in roasting pan. Carefully spread HERB BUTTER over tops of stuffed thighs.
  5. Roast uncovered, basting occasionally, until thighs reach an internal temperature of 180 F. about 2 hours. Cover with foil if top browns too quickly. Bake the extra stuffing for about 30-40 minutes, until the top of the stuffing is golden brown.
  6. Remove turkey thighs from oven, tent with foil & allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes. Slice & serve.

Herb-Crusted Turkey Breast w/ Mushroom Leek Stuffing

SEASON’S GREETINGS TO EVERYONE!

If this year has taught us anything, its that you can’t plan ahead at this moment. The coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered much of the world economy has also stole festivals, celebrations, reunions and all the related joys of a normal course of life.

Like everything else this year, Christmas 2020 looks very different to what we are used to. But, all this doesn’t mean that Christmas is cancelled. It just means you have to be a bit more creative about making it another joyful and meaningful memory for you and your loved ones.

This brings me to the special event in our family on Christmas day. December 25th just happens to be my sister Rita’s birth date. She will forever be the ‘special gift’ our family was so priviledged to receive at Christmas.

Rita, you are loved and treasured very much. Brion & I are very grateful for the fact you are able to share some of your time with our sister Loretta, especially in light of the covid crises.

With regard to our Christmas dinner being featured in this blog, the herbs added heaps of savory flavor to the stuffing and turkey rub. Rosemary, thyme and sage are quintessential winter herbs that really give that special holiday flavor …. no pears, apples, nuts are necessary. Having been cultivated for thousands of years around the world, herbs have helped shape culinary traditions that have lasted into modern times.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RITA … WE CELEBRATE YOU WITH LOVE

ENJOY YOUR DAY!!

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Herb-Crusted Turkey Breast w/ Mushroom Leek Stuffing
Instructions
Stuffing
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Add garlic & sauté, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Add leeks & cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms & cook until softened & liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat & stir in breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs & 1/4 tsp each salt & pepper; set aside.
Herb Butter
  1. In a small dish, combine all herb butter ingredients & set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Assembly
  1. Arrange turkey breast skin side down on a work surface so that it lies open & flat. Cover with plastic wrap, then pound lightly with a meat mallet to flatten & make an even thickness all over.
  2. Discard plastic wrap & season turkey all over with remaining salt & pepper.
  3. Spread stuffing over turkey, leaving a 3/4-inch border around the edge. Close up snugly, tucking in the stuffing as you go, then tie with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals around the entire turkey breast.
  4. Rub turkey all over with herb butter & arrange it on a rack in a roasting pan.
  5. Roast uncovered, basting occasionally, until turkey reaches an internal temperature of 180 F. about 2 hours. (Cover with foil if top browns too quickly).
  6. Remove & discard twine, slice turkey & serve.

Roast Turkey Breast w/ Fig & Sausage Stuffing

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!

The second Monday of October has been the day Canada has celebrated Thanksgiving since 1957. You might say it is synonymous with autumn & the harvest season. For us, its a time to be thankful for having the privilege of being Canadian and able to live in such a wonderful country.

Autumn is not to be taken lightly, its a magical season that is often overlooked. The green around us gets replaced by flaming oranges, bright reds and golden yellows. Much like the leaves swirling in the crisp autumn breeze, we are reminded that Mother Nature has an incredible influence on our lives.

This year has been like no other in most of our lives. Without a doubt the world is experiencing a health crises of a huge magnitude. I doubt whether many aspects of the life we once new, will ever be the same again. Some time ago I read an article that was posted on Facebook. When things are verbalized it seems to make them unmistakably clear. I’ve always believed there is a reason for everything even if we don’t know what it is at the time. I want to re-post this article as I thought it is certainly worth reading and giving some thought to.

We fell asleep in one world and woke up in another * Suddenly Disney is out of magic * Paris is no longer romantic * New York doesn’t stand up anymore * The Chinese wall is no longer a fortress and Mecca is empty * Hugs & kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents and friends becomes an act of love * Suddenly you realize that power, beauty and money are worthless, and can’t get you the oxygen you’re fighting for * The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think its sending us a message * ‘You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters’.

For our Thanksgiving meal today, I am making a turkey breast roast. The turkey breast is deboned, butterflied and pounded to an even thickness, then filled with stuffing. Usually it is tied with kitchen twine and roasted in a low and slow oven.

This particular stuffing contains figs, apples and some Italian sausage. I think it should make for a good Thanksgiving meal.

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Roast Turkey Breast w/ Fig & Sausage Stuffing
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, simmer figs in orange juice about 4 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter & add apple, celery, onions, herbs & sausage, breaking up the sausage into small pieces. Sauté for about 10 minutes until fruit/vegetables are soft & sausage is browned.
  3. Add the nuts & figs with any liquid remaining & cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, add the sausage mixture to the bread cubes & grated parmesan. Toss until quite moist & well combined; season to taste with salt & pepper
  5. Lay plastic wrap on your work surface. Butterfly turkey breasts & carefully pound until you acquire an even thickness. Even though you are using a boneless turkey breast there is that piece of hard grizzle still holding the breast halves together. I like to remove it but still keep the skin in one piece. When you fold the breast to cover the stuffing everything stays together nicely. It makes it real easy when its cooked & you are ready to slice.
  6. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  7. Spoon stuffing on one side & press down slightly. Using the plastic wrap, flip the other half of the turkey breast over stuffing. Tuck in any stuffing that falls out. Tie roast with KITCHEN TWINE or leave as is. Place the turkey breast, on a foil lined baking pan (not glass).
  8. Brush with HERB BUTTER. Roast 2-2 1/2 hours. Each oven roasts different so test in a few places with a meat thermometer to be sure.
  9. Cover breasts loosely with foil for 20 minutes before slicing. remove twine & carve 1-inch slices & serve with extra stuffing if you wish.
Recipe Notes
  • This recipe will be enough for Thanksgiving dinner as well as leftovers for a few more meals depending on the amount of dinner guests you have.
  • I'm a stuffing lover, so you will notice there is ample stuffing in this recipe.