Here in New York City, premium turkey breast is $8.00 (and more) a pound. We prefer to roast our own turkey sandwich meat for a fraction of that price, and we seldom fuss with a big bird. We simply use a small (6 to 7 pound) turkey breast.
So here’s a simple recipe for buffet-style turkey. You can use it for a traditional meat-and-potatoes main meal or sandwich-slicing (or both)...
|Cleo Coyle's husband is also|
her partner in crime-writing.
Together they write
This small, all-white meat turkey breast tastes better than anything you can get at the deli counter. It's perfect for making our favorite retro diner sandwich, too, an open-faced turkey with mashed potatoes.
Our secret ingredient is a pair of turkey wings (or even two pairs). Small turkey breasts usually come without wings, but we buy them separately for roasting right along with the bird. The wings render plenty of extra juices for making the rich gravy. See the gravy recipe below this one, and...
Eat with joy!
6 to 8 pound turkey breast
+ 2 to 4 turkey wings
(optional, for extra gravy juices)
3/4 stick (6 T) softened butter
1 teaspoon Bell Seasoning
1 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon Smokehouse Pepper
½ teaspoon ground sage
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon cooking oil or cooking spray
Above is a standard (wingless) turkey breast of about 7 pounds. Depending on the area where you live, you will either find these in your grocery store or something called "Hotel-Style Breasts," which are sold mainly in the Northeast. The Hotel-Style Breasts are perfect for a buffet. They are generally larger than a regular turkey breast (closer to 10 pounds instead of 4-8), and they have the wings attached. Like the big (15 to 35 pound) turkeys, many brands of Hotel-Style Turkey include a packet of giblets. Small turkey breasts like the one above do not include giblets.
Step 1—Prep the slurry: First preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. When the butter is soft, place it in a bowl and add your Bell Seasoning, Poultry Seasoning, white pepper, Smokehouse Pepper, ground sage, and Kosher salt. Blend everything well with a fork until you have a beautiful green slurry. Wash the turkey breast and pat dry. If using wings, remove the wing tips, wash, and pat dry.
Step 2—Prep the bird: Line a shallow baking or roasting pan with aluminum foil. Grease the rack that sits on top. Place the turkey on the rack, and (if using) position wings on either side of the breast. Slather the breast with the slurry you made in Step 1. Massage the slurry under the skin to impart the flavor into the meat.
You can coat the wings with the slurry, as well. Or simply salt and pepper the wings instead since you're cooking these wings for their juices rather than their meat.
|The wings in my photo above are not attached. |
Most small turkey breasts come without wings.
Marc and I like to buy the wings separately and
roast them with the turkey for extra pan juices.
|We often roast a second pair |
of wings in a separate pan.
|Amazing pan juices |
come from the wings.
Cleo's Favorite Retro Diner Sandwich...
with Mashed Potatoes
For a single serving...
A few juicy slices of freshly roasted turkey
A hearty scoop of mashed potatoes
2 slices of white bread (yes, it has to be white!)
Plenty of gravy (recipe below)
While the turkey is cooling, make mashed potatoes and gravy. Most home cooks have their favorite way to make mashed potatoes. If you feel adventurous, you can try my healthier potato, garlic, and carrot mash. It's absolutely delicious and very easy to make. Get the recipe here.
Good gravy and lots of it is the key to this deli-classic...
Makes about 1 ½ cups
2 cups pan drippings
(or enough chicken stock to make 2 cups)
2 Tablespoons Wondra flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 2—Finish the gravy: Measure your remaining pan drippings. If you have less than 2 cups, pour in enough chicken stock to make the full two. Whisk these two cups of drippings (and/or stock) into the roux that you made in Step 1. Heat the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat but continue to stir and let the gravy simmer until it thickens and the flour cooks (4 to 5 minutes). The key here--to prevent the gravy from breaking--really is stirring! Add salt and pepper to taste, serve hot, and...
Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice).
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