When it comes to Thanksgiving, turkey is often sacrosanct for many families, and roasting up a whole bird will always impress—as long as it doesn’t come out drier than the Sahara. But let’s be honest: it can be a pretty hefty kitchen project. By employing this fuss-free poaching method, you’ll free up oven space and have a better chance of serving up juicy meat. And because everyone around the table will be hunting for the gravy, here’s one that includes a surprising sweet-tart element, courtesy of those seasonal flushed berries.
Pay it forward
Consider poaching liquid as the gift of free turkey stock. Remove solids and keep the liquid in the fridge in a covered container for up to 5 days or freeze for future use in recipes for soups and stews.
2 lbs (1 kg) boneless, skinless turkey breast
1 medium onion, halved
1 medium carrot, cut into thirds
1 celery stalk, cut into quarters
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3 thyme sprigs
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) whole peppercorns
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
4 cups (1 L) sliced cremini mushrooms
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine
2 Tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries
To poach turkey, in large saucepan, place breast, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, lemon, salt, and peppercorns. Add enough water to completely cover turkey by at least 1 in (2.5 cm). Bring water to a very slight simmer with just a few bubbles breaking the surface and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until meat is cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165 F (74 C). Adjust heat as needed during cooking to maintain the slight simmer (you don’t want to boil the meat), and skim off any foam that forms on the surface of the water.
To make gravy, in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and salt; cook until mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes. Add wine, raise heat to medium-high, and boil until liquid has reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Whisk cornstarch, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, into 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the broth. Add remaining broth, thyme, and pepper to gravy pan. Return to a boil and then stir in cornstarch-broth mixture and cranberries. Simmer until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
Slice turkey and place on serving platter. Serve with bowl of gravy alongside.
Each serving contains: 241 calories; 38 g protein; 3 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 9 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 404 mg sodium