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Holiday Turkey Recipes

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Herbed Lemon Turkey Breast with Wild Mushroom Gravy

If you’re planning on six or fewer guests, roast a turkey breast. Not only will it taste delicious, but you can roast it more quickly and you won’t have to deal with lots of leftovers. Try our Herbed Lemon Turkey Breast with Wild Mushroom Gravy with flavorful cherry-sage rub. If you need to make a whole turkey for a larger crowd, follow our instructions for a large gathering.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Prep: 20 min. Roast: 1½ hours Stand: 15 min.
½ cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons olive oil
teaspoons snipped fresh sage
1 4½-to 5-pound whole turkey breast (bone-in)
1 lemon, quartered
1 medium onion, quartered
½ cup dried porcini, oyster, shiitake, and/or chanterelle mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
¼ cup all-purpose flour
chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry sherry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Scale It Down - Step 1 Scale It Down - Step 2 Scale It Down - Step 3

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place dried cherries, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sage in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process just until cherries are finely chopped.

  2. Slip your fingers between the skin and meat of the turkey breast to loosen the turkey skin. Lift the skin and carefully use a spatula to spread the cherry mixture directly over the turkey breast meat. Place the turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Place lemon and onion quarters underneath the turkey breast. Brush breast with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Roast, uncovered, in preheated oven for 1½ to 2¼ hours or until turkey reaches 165°F when tested with a thermometer in the thickest part of the breast (not touching the bone). Cover with foil the last 45 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes before carving.

  3. Meanwhile, place mushrooms in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over mushrooms to cover. Let stand for 10 minutes. Drain mushrooms. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve lined with 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth, paper towels, or a coffee filter; reserve liquid. Rinse and drain mushrooms a second time, discarding this liquid.

  4. Pour pan drippings from turkey into a large measuring cup. Skim and reserve fat from drippings. Pour ¼ cup of the fat (if necessary, add butter) into a medium saucepan. Stir in flour. Add enough mushroom liquid and chicken broth to remaining drippings in the measuring cup to equal 2 cups. Add broth mixture all at once to flour mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in mushrooms and sherry. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.


NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING: 293 cal., 13 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 99 mg chol., 198 mg sodium, 7 g carbo., 0 g fiber, 35 g pro.


For a Large Gathering

Use a 10- to 12-pound whole turkey. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove neck and giblets from the turkey. Slip your fingers between skin and meat to loosen the turkey skin over the breast area. Lift the turkey skin and carefully spread cherry mixture directly over the turkey breast meat. Skewer the neck skin to the back. Place the lemon and onion pieces into the body cavity of the turkey. Twist wing tips under the back. Tuck drumsticks under the band of skin across the tail or tie legs to tail with 100-percent-cotton string. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.

Brush the turkey with oil. Cover loosely with foil. Roast in preheated oven for 2½ hours. Cut band of skin or string between the drumsticks so thighs will cook evenly. Uncover; roast 30 to 60 minutes more or until meat thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the thigh (without touching the bone) registers 165°F. Remove turkey from oven. Cover; let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Makes 12 to 14 servings