Thanksgiving Meats: Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy, Honey Glazed Ham & Shrimp Bisque

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray 
  • 1 small (golf-ball sized) onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemon, scrubbed clean
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • Large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1/2 cup, from 12 stems)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling pan
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  • 6 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 boneless turkey breast halves, skin on (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds each)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup apple or regular brandy (recommended: Calvados)
  • 2 to 3 cups apple cider
  • Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Oil a roasting pan and set it aside.

Put the onion into the bowl of a mini food processor. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the lemon in thin strips, being careful not to cut into the bitter white pith. Add the lemon zest to the food processor and reserve the whole lemon for another use. Chop the onion and lemon zest until fine. Add the sage, parsley, olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until it forms a coarse paste.

Put 2 of the bay leaves and the butter into a small pan and heat over medium-low heat until the butter is bubbling. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Put the turkey breasts on a work surface. Carefully run your fingers between the skin and the flesh from 1 end, being careful not to pull it completely off, creating a pocket. Season the turkey breasts generously with salt and pepper. Stuff half of the herb paste under the skin of each breast, and spread it evenly under the skin. Transfer the breasts to the roasting pan, and slide 2 bay leaves underneath each one. (The heat of the pan will release the bay leaf oils and flavor the breast.) Using a pastry brush, baste the breasts with half of the bay butter. Place the turkey in the oven and immediately decrease the temperature to 400 degrees F. After 20 minutes, baste the turkey breasts with the remaining butter, and roast for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through, and a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast registers 170 degrees F.

Remove from the oven, transfer to a platter, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes before carving while you make the gravy.

Put the roasting pan over the burner on medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the pan juices, and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the apple brandy, and scrape the pan to lift the bits that are stuck to the bottom. Cook for a minute to burn off the alcohol, then, while stirring, pour in the apple cider. Bring to a simmer, and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice the turkey breast on the diagonal, and serve with warm gravy.

Results: A.MA.ZING!!  I used one 7.7 lb. turkey breast and it was one of the best turkeys I've ever eaten.  I think my mom didn't like me saying THE best... I mean...   I didn't use the brandy in the gravy after I bought that $34 thing... UGH.  Because of my Muslim guest.  I don't even want to know if she used it.  Let's just say she BETTER HAVE!!  Anyway.  I was very scared to use the apple cider... it was DELICIOUS!  I was very happy with the result!  The cider melted into the gravy deliciously!  Didn't taste cider-y at all.  Use cider, not cider vinegar.  As high maintenance as this recipe sounds... it was SO worth it!

Honey Glazed Ham
Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com

1 5 lb. ham
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. honey
1 /3 cup butter
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Score ham, and stud with the whole cloves. Place ham in foil lined pan.
  3. In the top half of a double boiler, heat the corn syrup, honey and butter. Keep glaze warm while baking ham.
  4. Brush glaze over ham, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Baste ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the honey glaze. During the last 4 to 5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving. 
Results: I used the suggested amendments from another user and halved this recipe.  I didn't baste nearly enough but this ham was still quite tasty!  I forgot to photograph it!

Shrimp Bisque
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 1eeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and rinsed well
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into big chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into big chunks
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 strips orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely grated orange zest, for garnish
  • Finely chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and melt the butter into it. Then add the shrimp shells, the leeks, celery, carrots, 3 sprigs thyme, the bay leaf, orange zest, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring every now and then, until the shells are red and the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Take the pot off the heat and carefully pour in the brandy. Ignite the brandy with a long kitchen match and let burn until the flame subsides. Return the pot to the heat, sprinkle in the flour, give it a stir, and cook for another 2 minutes. Now add water to cover and deglaze, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low and gently simmer until the soup is reduced and thickened, 30 to 45 minutes. Strain into a clean pot and season with salt and pepper.
Chop the shrimp. Return the bisque to a simmer, add the shrimp and cook 2 to 3 minutes just to cook the shrimp through. Give the bisque a final taste for seasoning, pour it into warmed soup bowls and serve garnished with the orange zest and chives.

Results: I doubled this recipe and felt like it needed less orange zest and more flour to thicken.  Turns out it thickened a bit in the aftermath but I would've liked it thicker when I first served it.  The orange was overpowering and stuck out.  Someone RASHAN AND S said it tasted like fruit loops... but still delicious.  I hate them.  They still loved it.  I also think it might have been better if the veggies had been pureed into the bisque instead of discarded.  I liked it okay.  Do yourself a huge favor and make sure you cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes.  Deliciously perfectly cooked.


Jameil said...

I forgot to mention for those who don't know. I hate turkey. It's too dry. Yes, even fried. So if I say this turkey was good, this turkey was GOOD. I will stop patting myself on the back.

GorgeousPuddin said...

Well the turkey certainly looks deelish! I should have lifted the skin on ours and rubbed seasoning under it. I know that addded step made it that much more flavorful for ya'lls.

I love shrimp bisque. I didn't know it included orange. I would probably leave that out. Fruitloops?? Bwhahahaha!

I had some others things to say but I won't say them as to not be a HPJ LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!