Whiskey-Glazed Turkey Breasts with Double Stuffing

Automne 2009
food and drink

BY: Lucy Waverman

The whisky-maple glaze gives a crisp skin and adds a pleasant sweetness to the turkey. The two stuffings that follow this recipe are enough for 4 breasts. Although turkey breast can be dry, it is all a matter of timing. They should be about 150°F (65°C) when you remove them from the oven. They will increase another 5 degrees as they sit. The juices should be clear but still in the turkey, not lost in the roasting pan.

Whisky Glaze
½ cup (125 mL) Scotch whisky
¼ cup (50 mL) maple syrup
2 tbsp (25 mL) grated orange rind
¾ cup (175 mL) melted butter

4 boneless turkey breasts,
3-lbs (1.5-kg) each, skin on
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 onion, thickly sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced

6 cups (1.5 L) chicken stock
3 tbsp (45 mL) soy sauce
¼ cup (50 mL) redcurrant jelly

1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).

2. Combine whisky, maple syrup, orange rind and butter in a bowl to make glaze. Reserve.

3. With a sharp knife and your hand flat on the top of the breast cut through the thickest part of the turkey breast horizontally, stopping about 1-inch (2.5 cm) from the edge. You should then be able to open it up like a book. Repeat with remaining 3 turkey breasts. Brush glaze all over exposed turkey breast and season with salt and pepper.

4. Divide Sausage Stuffing (recipe follows) between 2 turkey breasts, fold meat over to enclose stuffing and sew or skewer the edges together. Tie in 3 places to secure. Set aside. Divide Fruit Stuffing (recipe follows) between remaining 2 turkey breasts and repeat. Brush turkey breasts with whiskey glaze and season all over with salt and pepper.

5. Place turkey breasts on a bed of onions, carrots and celery in several roasting pans or baking sheets and roast for 10 minutes or until skin is beginning to colour. Turn oven to 350°F (180°C) and roast another 45 to 50 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes while making sauce.

6. Discard vegetables and add stock and soy sauce to pans. (Divide quantity if you are using 2 pans.) Place pan over high heat and bring to boil, scraping up any little brown bits on the base of the pan. Boil for 2 minutes, add redcurrant jelly and boil another 5 to 10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. If you are not using homemade stock then thicken with 1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water.

7. Carve breasts into slices and serve with some gravy.

Serves 20

Sausage Stuffing

Use any kind of sausage you prefer, from regular pork to chicken—even hot Italian works.

2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion
1 cup (250 mL) chopped fennel
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped garlic
8 oz (250 g) sausage meat removed from casing, crumbled
2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups (500 mL) fresh bread crumbs
½ cup (125 mL) grated apple
1 egg
¼ cup (50 mL) apple cider or juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and fennel and sauté for 2 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add garlic,
then crumble in sausage meat and sauté for 1 minute or until meat loses its pinkness. Stir in spinach, sage and rosemary and cook for 1 minute or until wilted. Stir in bread crumbs and apple. Let cool slightly, then stir in egg and moisten with apple cider. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes enough stuffing for 2 turkey breasts

Fruit Stuffing

You can use any dried fruits for this depending on your preference and play with the amounts of each if preferred.

½ cup (125 mL) cranberry juice
1 cup (250 mL) chopped dried apricots
½ cup (125 mL) chopped prunes
½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
½ cup (125 mL) chopped pistachios (or other nuts)
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) chopped onions
½ cup (125 mL) chopped celery
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh marjoram
2 cups (500 mL) fresh bread crumbs
¼ to ½ cup (50 to 125 mL) chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1.  Heat cranberry juice in a pot over high heat. Bring to boil and add fruit. Simmer for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes or until juice has been absorbed. Stir in the pistachios.

2. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery and sauté for 3 minutes until softened. Add fruit mixture, tarragon and marjoram and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

3.  Stir in bread crumbs, add enough chicken stock to moisten, and season with salt and pepper.

Makes enough stuffing for 2 turkey breasts

What to Serve