Sunday I am teaching a class at Williams-Sonoma in the Burlington Mall. The theme this time is Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Dinner. The menu is a nice one, Creamed Butternut Squash and Apple Soup flavoured with a bit of saffron and cream, Chestnut and Sausage Dressing, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Ginger Cake with Warm Caramel Sauce and of course, the ubiquitous turkey (All recipes easily found on their website).
Since the store only has 1 oven in the demo area and both the sausage and chestnut dressing and the ginger cake will be in the oven I am going to make the turkey here and we will try to gently warm it up tomorrow.
The original recipe calls for two 2-1/2 pound breasts to be seasoned and tied together and then roasted.
I could only find a 5 pound half breast so I have decided to butterfly it, make a nice compound butter to smear all over the inside and then I will tie it up in a nice roulade or sausage roll and roast it.
I thought it might be nice to put some links up here so anyone who attends the class can see how I put it all together.
The first part is making a compound butter, or simply some grass fed unsalted butter like Kerrigold to which you have added some flavour. Fresh herbs, dried spices or herbs, zest of lemons or limes or oranges, maybe some liqueur or sea salt, truffles, powdered dried porcini, the possibilities are endless. I never roast a chicken without making my house version which is usually some rosemary, thyme, sea salt, fresh black pepper, lemon zest and garlic confit (follow this link if you want to see how easy it is to make nectar of garlic heaven).
Next, take the full breast, boned, or a half breast-boned and lay it skin side down on the board. Look at the shape of it and figure out how you can slice it once or twice so that it opens up to an even thickness. I sliced from the front to the back of the breast once and then sliced that piece one more time again, front to back so it lay out in one long piece. You could, if you wish, pound it thinner at this point.
Season with salt and pepper and smear on the compound butter.
Tie the roulade at 1 - 2 inch intervals, tight, but not so tight that it looks like the lines of a woman's corset when you take the strings off.
Season the outside with salt and pepper. Take some of the oil from the garlic confit (I steeped some rosemary the confit when I made it) and mix it with some of the same fresh herbs from the compound butter and smear this all over the turkey.
It went into the oven at 350F.
Almost two hours later it was at 165F, the perfect temp for poultry to kill any instance of salmonella, I pulled it, let it cool and it's in the fridge resting for class tomorrow along with all those golden pan drippings.
To be continued...