Nov 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Feast: Turkey-in-a-Pot

For those who would like to dispense with a full-bird turkey this Thanksgiving Day, especially for a smaller crowd and not spend hours preparing, served with traditional side dishes, like dressing, cranberry sauce, biscuits and yams – this Turkey-in-Pot recipe is for you.
The breast alone is easier to cook and carve and yet roasted. The solution is turkey breast French style: in a pot. Surprisingly it produces a very moist and tender meat; most often the method being used to cook whole chickens.
Bone-in turkey breasts will vary in size, like frozen turkeys at the grocery mart. 6 to 7 pounds is the ideal size that will feed a small crowd up to eight, yet small enough to fit into a 7-quart Dutch oven, especially when the rib bones are trimmed.
Browning the breast may be a challenge, but a large Texan skillet will help with that part of the cooking or just brown in large Dutch oven it will be roasted in, browning for about 15 minutes, which seals in the flavor.
If you cannot find the breast alone without the wings, remove them. Use a carving fork to turn the turkey and when removing it from the pot.
Recipe serves 6 to 8.
1 (7-pound) bone in whole turkey breast, wings discarded or shredded for dressing, trimmed.
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
Roasted Chicken Breast with Cracker Dressing & Gravy
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Using kitchen shears, trim any rib bones that extend beyond underside of turkey breast. If any backbone pieces are still attached to underside of turkey, remove them. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add turkey, skin side down, and cook until well browned, 12 to 16 minutes, rolling it from side to side as needed for even browning. Transfer turkey to plate and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf to pot and cook until vegetables are well browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Return turkey and accumulated juices to pot, skin side up. Off heat, place large sheet of aluminum foil over pot and press edges to seal, then cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until thickest part of breast registers 155 degrees, 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours.
  4. Remove pot from oven and heat broiler. Uncover pot and brush turkey with melted butter. When broiler is heated, return pot to oven and broil until skin is golden brown, 8 to 15 minutes, rotating pot as needed for even browning. Remove pot from oven. Transfer turkey to carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest while making gravy.
  5. Place pot over medium-high heat, bring to boil, and cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 8 to 15 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook at strong simmer, stirring often, until gravy is thickened and measures about 2 cups, 15 to 18 minutes. Strain gravy through fine-mesh strainer set over medium saucepan; discard solids. Season gravy with salt and pepper to taste. Carve turkey. Rewarm gravy and serve with turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, and sweet potato.

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