Hello readers. Today I have a very fun and different kind of guest post for you. Gaila from Petit Gourmet is going to take over and talk about how she preps for Thanksgiving, and she’s going to share a mouth-watering recipe for Spinach, Bacon, and Apples Stuffed Turkey Breast. YUM. Enjoy, and leave her some love.
Thanksgiving is just a week away and is past time to begin planning. For the table and decorations I chose simple, rustic and green, beige and white as the colors. I prepared in advance some pears and figs in syrup, and found super cute mason jars to presented them in, each guest could take away home their fresh preserved fruits. Use some simple jute place mats, my chargers are golden, to bring some sparkle to the table and then simple white dinnerware. Garnished the table with candles, fresh fruit and herbs.
This year I chose to celebrate and Spanish inspired thanksgiving dinner, and so we began the night by toasting with some Spanish “cidra” when I was small we used to toast “Salud y pesetas” (To health and money) of course it has been years since the Euro substituted the Spanish pesetas. And before heading to the table, we had some Spanish tapas, the classics: Olives, Iberico Ham, aged Manchego and boquerones in vinegar (fresh anchovies).
When planning a dinner, after giving out invitations or confirming how big is your party, then comes the menu, calculating your portions, groceries list, decorations, flowers, candles. Celebrating a thanksgiving dinner for small group is always harder than throwing a big dinner party. Well here is the menu that I chose:
Things You Can Do to Prepare for Thanksgiving in Advance
Two weeks in advance:
- Buy place mats or confirm that the linens you are going to use are clean and ironed.
- Confirm the invitations (Is better to know for how many people you are cooking for)
- Buy drinks (If you know the group you have invited, buy everyone’s favorite drinks:beer, rum, vodka, gin) in this case I bought Spanish cidra to go along with my theme. Be sure to have enough serving glasses for all your drinks, cute napkins, straws, lemon wedges, (spices, fruit peels, fresh herbs for the Gin and cocktails).
- Buy good quality turron, if you can’t find it in supermakets near you, try shopping online to get it on time.
- Make you grocery shopping list, make sure you have everything on it. This trip to the supermarket should be only for this occasion and time effective.
One week in advance:
- Buy your bird, If you have a small group like me buy a 3 to 6 pounds turkey breast if you have a larger party buy a whole bird. Make sure you are buying a good quality heritage bird, they are expensive, I know, but this is your center piece “la pièce de résistance”, Heritage turkeys have been praised by chefs and food critics alike as being richer in flavor than industrial birds,though the lack of a large amount of breast meat means cooking times and methods may differ substantially from non-heritage birds. If you choose to buy an industrial bird, I advice you to brine it or buy pre brine turkeys like Butterball for example. Why brine? well heritage birds have more flavor and texture than a normal bird, when you brine a turkey you can put so much flavor in ti besides making is moist and juicier. So properly thaw you bird in the fridge then brine. There are lots of brine recipes out there, if I brine a bird I tend to stay with the classics Water and salt. You can try sugar, fresh herbs, different pepper corns and spices.
3 days in advance:
- Buy groceries
1 day in advance:
- Buy flowers
- Buy ice
- Prepare veggies “mise en place” then keep them in air tight containers
- Prepare turkey stuffing and stuff your turkey breast, reserve in the fridge until cook time
- Prepare your bar with everything you will need.
- Set the table
- Put fresh flowers on the guest bathroom
- Thanksgiving day:
- Prepare your tapas platter, reserve and serve up at dinner’s time
- Put your bird in the oven, reserve and warm up at dinner’s time
- Prepare your gravy, reserve and warm up at dinner’s time
- Cook your rice, reserve and warm up at dinner’s time
- Cook your corn bread, reserve and warm up at dinner’s time
- Prepare your bread and when guest arrive put it in the oven, not only you will have fresh warm bread at the table, but your home will smell like heaven.
- Check your table add finishing touches
- Take a nap and then a shower, you are ready for show time!
Spinach, Apples, and Bacon Stuffed Turkey Breast Recipe
For the Stuffing:
3/4 cup apples, peeled and cubed
2/3 Spinach package, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup leeks, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
3/4 bacon package, diced
salt and pepper
For the Turkey:
5 pound boneless (double) turkey breast, butterflied, with skin left on
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter, soften
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
For the Sherry Gravy:
1 cup dry sherry
3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Put a large frying pan and fry the leeks, spinach, garlic, season well and add the chopped sage and thyme, cook until soft and take off the heat. Let this mix cool down, then add the sliced bacon and the apples, mix until well combined, then refrigerate until use.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
De-bone turkey breast carefully keeping skin and all meat as intact as possible. Butterfly breast meat to even thickness. Use a rolling pin to pound as needed to create an even rectangle.
Lay some cling or plastic film on the work surface then place the turkey breast skin side down, season well with the help of a spoon spread evenly the stuffing out not going right up to the edge, leave an inch or so, you will avoid stuffing falling out while cooking.
Roll up breast and pin/tie as needed to secure. Mix together the olive oil, butter, garlic, fresh thyme and rub the outside skin. When done, roll turkey breast in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Roast the turkey breast for 1 -1 1/2 hours, then check it is cooked with a turkey or meat thermometer. When cooked, it should read 165°F in the center. If you don’t have a thermometer. Stop the oven after one hour, then take out the turkey and cover it with aluminum foil, let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
Cut wide slices right across; they will need to be quite thick, at least 1/2 inch, try to keep the stuffing intact within the slice, place it on a decorated plate or a sideboard. Serve warm next to the gravy.
Scrape brown bits off bottom of roasting pan, and pour drippings into a medium saucepan.
Add sherry to saucepan, and cook over high heat until liquid has reduced by about half about 5 minutes.
Combine flour and broth in small bowl, stirring with whisk; add broth mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add butter, when it melts, add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Check Out These Related Posts & Recipes from Her Thanksgiving Plan:
My Spanish Inspired Thanksgiving Dinner
Potato Dinner Rolls
Saffron Rice with Cranberries and Slivered Almonds
+ More to come!