Enjoy your favorite kind of meat at its best with turkey parts


Main Dish

Lemon Turkey Cutlets

1 3/4 pounds turkey breast, skin and bone removed

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon each minced fresh oregano and grated lemon zest

1 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons each olive oil and butter

Orange and lemon wedges

Cut breast on the bias and on the diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Place each piece between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap. Pound the turkey with a large flat meat pounder until slices are 1/4- to 3/8-inch thick.

Place the flour in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Crack the eggs into another bowl; season with salt and pepper; whisk well. Combine the panko, oregano, lemon zest and cheese in a third bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Dip both sides of the turkey slices in the flour, shaking off the excess. Next, dip the slices in the beaten eggs, letting the excess drain off. Finally, dip into the bread crumb mixture; use your fingers to coat each side. Tap off the excess. Set aside in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey in a single layer, in batches if necessary. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook, turning, until the pieces are golden brown on each side, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve garnished with orange and lemon wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Source: Adapted from “Joanne Weir’s Cooking with Confidence.”

Per serving: 426 calories, 15 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 183 mg cholesterol, 32 g carbohydrates, 37 g protein, 475 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

Main Dish

Roasted Turkey Breast with Pearl Onions and Sage

1 whole turkey breast, 4 to 6 pounds

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

12 to 15 medium fresh sage leaves

2 Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into 6 wedges each

15 to 18 pearl onions, peeled

1 head garlic, separated into individual cloves but not peeled

1 small sprig fresh rosemary

Juice from 1/2 or 1 lemon

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush turkey breast with some of the melted butter. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Tuck a few sage leaves under the skin.

Arrange the apples, pearl onions, garlic cloves, rosemary and remaining sage in the bottom of a roasting pan with a fitted rack. Drizzle with remaining melted butter. Arrange the turkey breast on the rack above the vegetables.

Roast until the meat registers 155 to 160 in the thickest part of the breast on a thermometer, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven; allow to rest 15 minutes. (The temperature will go up to 165 degrees while it rests.)

Serve, sliced, on a platter with the vegetables and drippings. Squeeze the lemon juice over the meat just before serving. Makes 10 servings.

Source: Adapted from chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli.

Per serving: 222 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 106 mg cholesterol, 7 g carbohydrates, 35 g protein, 296 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

• Season a 4- to 6-pound boneless turkey breast with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.

• Place the turkey, skin side up, in a slow cooker.

• Top with 1/4 cup Madeira wine, 1 sliced Vidalia onion, 1 sprig thyme, 1 garlic clove and 1 tablespoon honey.

• Seal with the lid. Cook on high heat, turning once, until tender, 3 to 4 hours.

• Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest 15 minutes before slicing (discard skin).

• Pour the broth into a fat separator or remove the grease with a spoon. Strain into a small saucepan; heat to a boil. Taste; adjust seasonings. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

• Spoon broth over turkey slices. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Source: Adapted from “Basic to Brilliant, Y’All” by Virginia Willis

Chicago Tribune

Turkey. Let’s talk about it — honestly. Is it time to ax that big old bird from your Thanksgiving feast? Even if you do have the time to roast it and the oven space to hold it, who these days has the carving skills to do the portioning at the dining table?

As the folks at Butterball note, 80 percent of us will carve that turkey in the kitchen. And what arrives at the table is not the golden fantasy of magazine covers but a platter of sliced breast meat and disjointed legs, likely in less than peak condition.

Why not go with turkey parts? Not only can they make for faster cooking, but you can enjoy the kind of meat you like best at its best. No need to overcook the breast to ensure the legs are done.

“Who has not had a dry turkey?” asks New York chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli. “The advantage of breaking up the bird is you can roast the thigh and breast separately. Or braise the turkey thighs and roast the breast.”

What matters in cooking turkey parts, says Guarnaschelli, is maintaining the “iconic flavors” of Thanksgiving.

She hits those flavor notes with a turkey breast roasted with pearl onions, sage and Granny Smith apples, and gets more adventurous with dark meat.

“Braise turkey thighs like a stew until the meat falls off the bone, or roast at a high temperature for crispy skin and juicy meat, or steam them with vegetables in wine,” she said.

Virginia Willis, a Southern food authority, recommends braising for the breast; the technique ensures moistness, she says. A bonus? The Madeira-laced braising liquid can stand in for gravy.

Doing something different with the Thanksgiving turkey also appeals to Joanne Weir, whose new Cooking Confidence (Taunton Press, $24.95), offers a recipe for breaded turkey cutlets.

Whatever you do with the turkey, know you are not alone.

“So many people are thinking in different directions for Thanksgiving and not just doing a plain turkey,” Weir said.

Read more Food stories from the Miami Herald

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