If you’re having a small Thanksgiving crowd, skip the huge turkey and make these chestnut and mushroom stuffed turkey breasts.
My favorite family memories are when we gather together for the holidays, and end up in the kitchen together preparing our meal. Everyone in my family likes to be involved in our holiday preparations including my grandkids who love to chop the vegetables and help to create an indulgent dessert everyone will love. Once the menu has been set, I begin to plan how to decorate the table and discuss our choice of wines to best compliment the meal with my husband. Although we vary the menu for other holidays, Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same for my family if we didn’t celebrate the holiday with a big, succulent roast turkey with all the fixings.
There are times however when the entire family cannot get together for Thanksgiving, and at those times I need to downsize my menu and think turkey breast instead of twenty-pound turkey. Roasting a whole turkey may seem a bit over the top if you do not have a crowd coming to dinner, but cooking a single turkey breast will allow you to still enjoy the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving without having to spend the entire day in the kitchen. If you are feeding just a few instead of a crowd for the holidays, a turkey breast will also prevent you from having to deal with pounds of turkey leftovers as well.
I stuffed this turkey breast with a mixture of chopped mushrooms and chestnuts, and once rolled and tied, it takes less than an hour in the oven to roast. To ensure my turkey breast would still feel like a traditional holiday meal, I prepared a turkey stock the day before to make gravy, and also made my favorite cranberry sauce to compliment the turkey as well. I poured a cup of white wine into the bottom of my roasting pan to help to keep the turkey very moist while baking, and basted it a few times with the juices as it cooked.
After the turkey had finished roasting, I added the leftover juices to my gravy for extra flavor. Once roasted and sliced, I served the turkey with the gravy alongside a spoonful of vibrantly flavored cranberry sauce. I paired the turkey with roasted sweet potatoes mashed with butter, cinnamon, and maple syrup, and tender crisp green beans tossed with a garlic flavored olive oil and topped with toasted sliced almonds completed my holiday menu.
Chestnut and Mushroom Stuffed Turkey BreastDeborah Mele
- 2.5 – 3 Pound Boneless Turkey Breast Butterflied
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Cups Finely Chopped Portobello Mushrooms
- 1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Cooked Peeled Chestnuts
- 1 Cup Fresh Breadcrumbs
- 1 Teaspoon Finely Chopped Fresh Sage
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1 Cup White wine
MAKE AHEAD GRAVY:
- 2 Turkey Legs
- 4 Carrots Coarsely Chopped
- 3 Celery Stalks Chopped
- 1 Medium Onion Peeled & Quartered
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 Tablespoons Butter Melted
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- To make the gravy, the day before place the vegetables in a roasting pan and place the turkey legs on top.
- Place the pan into a preheated 425 degree F. oven for 20 minutes.
- Turn the legs over and continue to cook until the turkey and vegetables are brown, about another 20 minutes.
- Place the turkey legs and vegetables in a stockpot along with the bay leaves, salt and pepper, and add just enough water to cover.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
- Strain the liquid and store until the next day.
- To prepare the turkey breast, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the turkey breast onto a sheet of parchment paper and pound with a meat mallet until the meat is an equal thickness.
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the mushrooms and chestnuts.
- Cook stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 7 minutes.
- Add the breadcrumbs, and stir to mix well.
- Season the mushrooms with the sage, salt and pepper.
- Spoon the filling onto the turkey breast, leaving a 1-inch border.
- Tuck the meat in at the ends, and roll the breast firmly, tying it with butcher’s twine.
- Place the turkey into an oven-proof roasting pan and pour in the white wine.
- Roast the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F, basting 2 or 3 times as it cooks.
- Remove the turkey from the oven, and cover with aluminum foil to rest 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the turkey is roasting, reheat the turkey stock.
- Pour the juices from the turkey pan into the pot with the stock.
- Whisk together the butter and flour, then whisk into the hot stock.
- Continue to cook the gravy until thickened, then keep warm.
- Cut the twine on the turkey breast, then slice and arrange on a platter.
- Spoon the gravy over the turkey, and serve immediately with your choice of sides.
Deborah Mele is a self-taught cook whose passion for Italian cuisine began after living in Milan, Italy for 8 years. Although not Italian by birth, she became a true Italian by heart and palate. Deborah created her Italian recipe blog ItalianFoodForever.com 12 years ago to share her passion for Italian food. During her various travels throughout Italy, Deborah fell in love with the central Italian region of Umbria so when they retired, Deborah and her husband bought two farmhouses there where they now reside for six months a year and run a farmhouse rental for guests and give cooking classes.