Bulldog Cuisine: Faux Smoked Breast of Turkey

If a man cannot or will not cook, he is not a man. All REAL men – manly men, if you will – know how to cook, and by cook I don’t mean scurry around a studio kitchen yelling “BAM!” and cooking stuff most ordinary chefs don’t cook, like that wretched little Emeril does on his stupid Food Network show. Honestly…what kind of serious chef has his own studio band, complete with an African-American Doc Severinsen? I learned to cook because my mother – God rest her soul – was a superb cook. When I moved out and lived on my own, I had no choice but to teach myself the arcane ways of the kitchen. And now I happily pass what I have learned along to you, gentle reader.

Consider this an extremely early contender for Christmas Day dinner. I say “contender” because I’m working on a recipe for a traditional roast goose that will knock your socks off. Yesterday I prepared this recipe for Nicole and she gave it two thumbs up.

It’s easy to make and the turkey comes out unbelievably moist, tender and delicious – thanks to a long, low heat roast. Serve with gravy, wild rice with shitake mushrooms and onions and sauteed Brussels sprouts.

This recipe serves four people.

Ingredients for slow roasted turkey

2 whole skinless turkey breasts
Brine solution (see instructions below)
Liquid smoke
McCormick Rotisserie Chicken Spice mix

Ingredients for wild rice with onion and Shitake mushrooms

1 box Uncle Ben’s Original Wild Rice
1 tsp butter
1 small onion, slivered
1 cup thinly sliced Shitake mushroom caps
2-¾ cups spring water
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for sauteed Brussels sprouts

16 Brussels sprout heads, halved
3 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/2 cup cheap sauterne, muscat or other sweet white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for turkey gravy

1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp real maple syrup (not the synthetic crap)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 heaping tbsp flour mixed with ¼ cup water (strain if there are lumps)
Liquid from slow roasted turkey pouches
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for brine

1 cup salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tbsp dried ground sage
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried ground thyme
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 quarts boiling spring water
3 quarts cold spring water
1 quart frozen spring water

On the night before the day you plan to cook, place 1 quart of spring water in the freezer and freeze it solid.

Bring 2 quarts of spring water to the boil in a 2 gallon sauce or soup pot and then add all the dry ingredients. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar, then remove from the stove. Add the cold spring water, followed by the frozen spring water. When the ice has completely melted, add the liquid smoke and stir again. The brine is now ready for the turkey.

Directions

Turkey

Place turkey breasts in the brine and keep them submerged by placing a heavy plate on top of them. Place pot in refrigerator. After four hours, remove turkey breasts from brine and pat them dry.

Rub each breast on all sides with 1/2 tsp liquid smoke. Sprinkle seasoning on each side of the breast and then wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil, crimping all sides tightly. Place foil pouches on upper rack of a preheated 200°F. oven and slow roast for 2 hours. When the cooking time is up, turn off the oven but leave the pouches there.

Turkey Gravy

After the turkey has cooked for an hour place a small sauce pan on high heat, melt the butter and add the onions. Cook on high heat until onions begin to brown, then reduce to medium and continue stirring until onions turn a dark brown color. Add ½ cup of broth and continue stirring until almost evaporated. Then add remaining broth and whisk in flour water mixture until gravy begins to thicken. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue whisking for 10 minutes more before removing from heat. Place a lid on the sauce pan.

Wild Rice with onion and Shitake mushrooms

A half hour before the turkey is done, prepare the wild rice: in a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and add the onions, sweating over medium heat until translucent; add the mushrooms and continue cooking for another five minutes. Add the rice, the contents of the seasoning packet and the water. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a bare simmer. The rice should take about 20 minutes to finish cooking.

When the turkey is done, remove from the oven and open one end of each pouch. Drain the accumulated juice into the gravy, turn the heat onto low and whisk thoroughly. Add salt and ground pepper to taste.

Brussels Sprouts

Trim any stem portions and then slice each sprout head in half from top to bottom. Melt butter in a large saucepan on medium heat and then place sprouts cut side down when butter begins to bubble. Saute for five minutes and then turn over to cook the other side. After three minutes, add the garlic and then stir the sprouts. Add the wine and continue simmering for another five minutes. Add salt and ground pepper to taste. Remove from heat and cover pan.

Remove turkey breasts from the pouches and cut into thin slices. Plate the turkey, rice and sprouts and prepare for a rave review.

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One Response to Bulldog Cuisine: Faux Smoked Breast of Turkey

  1. Nadia says:

    the entire meal turned out excellent, quite yummy, definitely would recommend it