Gay Cook’s Asian-Style Roast Boneless Turkey Breast with Fruit Rice Stuffing

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Makes 4 servings

A delicious roast turkey breast is perfect to celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with fewer than 10 family and friends. One can buy larger size turkey breasts or locate two breasts still connected. The one in the photo is 1 kg (2 pounds). Some butchers sell turkey breasts boneless and others leave the bone in. If you have purchased one with the bone in you can request the butcher to remove the bones or remove it yourself with a sharp pointed (boning) knife and gently cut away the meat off the bones. I always cook poultry with the skin left on as it holds so much flavour and during the cooking the fat will dissolve. Feel free to use the Asian-style recipe or use your favourite spices. Chinese Five-Spice powder is made of powdered cassia buds, powdered star anise, ginger root <

1. Remove any visible fat on the turkey and place turkey in a pan or oven-proof low casserole. Combine soy sauce, maple syrup, ginger and oil with half the spice powder; pour over the turkey including the underside. Allow the turkey to marinate two hours. Depending on the temperature of the room, if it’s warm, marinate turkey in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the turkey and marinade in an oven-ready skillet (cast iron is ideal). Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place skillet in the oven to roast for 30 – 35 minutes. To test doneness, use tongs to lift the turkey and press the meat on the underside to check if the juices are clear. If juice is pink return the turkey to the oven for a further 10 minutes. If turkey is cooked, remove it to a platter, tent it lightly with foil and allow it to rest for 15 – 30 minutes to settle the juices.

3. To make sauce (gravy), scrap up drippings in the bottom of the skillet; stir in the flour and cook several seconds. Stir in the stock and whisk until smooth; cook gently for 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning if needed.

4. To serve, cut the turkey into ¼-inch (1 cm) slices and place beside or over the stuffing. Serve sauce separate;u/

Fruit Rice Stuffing

2 tablespoons (25 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped onion
½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped celery
1 cup (250 mL) short grain rice
1 cup (250 mL) water or chicken stock
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped dried apricots
1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt and generous sprinkling pepper
1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar

1. Place rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Gently rub the rice to release the starch. Drain in a sieve. Repeat this process several times until the water runs clear. Place rice in a small saucepan and add the 1 cup (250 ml) cold water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Leave for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Remove the pan from the heat and use a wooden spoon to remove to a bowl.

2. Melt the butter in a skillet, and sauté the onions and celery until tender. Stir the vegetables through the rice with the dried fruit and seasonings.

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Photo: Gay Cook 2011