I was standing at the poultry counter making up my Shabbat dinner menu and realized I had the ABC (Anything But Chicken) blues. I turned to adjacent turkey section where I saw cutlets, rolled boneless turkey breast and several trays of freshly ground turkey meat.
Why not serve turkey instead of chicken? There is no rule that says chicken only on Shabbat and turkey only on Thanksgiving.
Health-conscious cooks have discovered that turkey is a delicious alternative to chicken and can be more economical and versatile, as well. Its excellent flavor lends itself well to many recipes.
The second recipe below takes a bit of effort, but it’s well worth it.
Tarragon Turkey Scallopini
8 turkey cutlets
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄8 tsp. ground pepper
3 Tbs. oil
1⁄2 cup white wine
1⁄3 cup chicken stock
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh tarragon leaves or 1⁄2 tsp. dried
Place cutlets between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound until flattened to 1⁄4-inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dredge cutlets in flour.
In a large skillet, heat oil. Cook cutlets about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. In the same skillet over high heat, add wine, stock, lemon juice and tarragon. Bring to a boil. Deglaze pan by scraping brown bits from the skillet.
Cook until slightly thickened. Taste for salt and pepper. Arrange cutlets on a platter and pour tarragon sauce over them.
Rolled Turkey Breast with Mushroom-Spinach Stuffing
2 Tbs. oil
2 leeks, white parts only, chopped
1 lb. mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. dried thyme
6 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
11⁄2 cups matzah meal or bread crumbs (approx.)
salt and pepper
1 whole kosher turkey breast, 4 to 5 lbs., skin left on, boned
3 Tbs. mustard
1 Tbs. oil
2 cups chicken broth
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook leeks and mushrooms until leeks are tender and mushrooms brown, about 10 minutes.
Stir in garlic, thyme and spinach. Cook just until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove spinach mixture to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Sprinkle with lemon juice and stir in matzah meal. Taste and add salt and pepper.
Lay the turkey breast skin side down in front of you. Starting at the center and holding a knife parallel to the meat with the blade facing left, make a lengthwise cut into the meat. Open the flap. Repeat on the right side. Spread meat out flat and cover with waxed paper.
Pound until about 3⁄4 inch thick. Spread with 2 Tbs. mustard and then with the stuffing, leaving a 1⁄2-inch border all the way around. Starting at left or right, roll the breast into a cylinder.
Tie at 1-inch intervals with kitchen string and secure open edges with toothpicks.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place turkey on a rack, seam side down, in a roasting pan. Brush with oil. Combine 1 cup of broth with wine and pour some over the turkey. Roast about 1 hour, basting with stock mixture every 15 minutes until done. Internal temperature should be 150 degrees and juices should run clear. Remove from oven and let turkey rest at least 20 minutes before slicing.
Skim fat from roasting pan. Pour pan juices into a small saucepan with remaining stock and remaining mustard. Cook until slightly thickened. Remove toothpicks and string from turkey and cut into 1-inch slices. Pass sauce separately.
Louise Fiszer is a Palo Alto cooking teacher, author and the co-author of “Jewish Holiday Feasts.” Her columns alternate with those of Faith Kramer. Questions and recipe ideas can be sent to j. or to firstname.lastname@example.org.