Thanksgiving at Christmas Time

It was one of those freaky times where a magazine starts arriving month after month and you have no earthly recollection of subscribing. Inertia takes hold and after some months it stops appearing. Oh, there might have been a subscription notice that found its way into the circular file.

In the meantime, the November issue – so-called the feasting season – had some really inviting recipes. I meant to try a few; made a list on a post-it-note on the cover and flagged the pages to remind me.

Then Thanksgiving rolled around and our neighbor invited us! It’s a long weekend and I went ahead and cooked, too (see Nov. 27, 2021 post). Our turkey carcass made its way into a congee, its usual fate these days (for recipe, see July 31, 2020).

As 2021 was closing, I returned to that unbidden magazine with the interesting recipes. Two turkey breasts remained in the freezer that needed to be used. And also a butternut squash. It was time to make the intended Thanksgiving dinner – turkey roulade with hasselback butternut squash.

Constant Companion and Daughter were talking in the kitchen and I thought I’d strike when the iron was hot. Cooking is usually a solitary art; I liked the idea of proceeding with company. It was a great change.

Turkey Roulade. Heat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Combine 4 chopped garlic cloves with 1 finely chopped shallot, 1 cup of chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons of fresh, chopped rosemary, 1 tablespoon of orange zest, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper.*

*Even though this recipe was totally new to me, instead of all of the above, I defrosted a cup or so of frozen leeks that I’d cooked a while ago when I had more leeks than I knew what to with. If I’d had mushrooms, they would have made it into the stuffing.

Already stuffed waiting to be trussed!

The recipe calls for two turkey breasts. Carefully remove the skin from your turkey breasts, set aside. Butterfly each turkey breast (cut it horizontally almost but not entirely in half, and then to open it like a book), cover them with plastic wrap and pound to about ¼ inch thick.*

*Variant #2, my pieces were much thicker; my patience is limited to do this pounding, even with company in the kitchen.

Done

Divide whatever you are using for stuffing and cover the meat, leaving a good border all around. Start rolling. Place the skin on top of each breast tucking in the edges. Tie with kitchen string about 2” apart.+ Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and brush with oil and salt.* Roast for 25 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and roast another 25-30 minutes for a 160 degree F reading. Let it rest for 10 minutes.  Remove the string and slice, serve with gravy.

+Tip, have your string cut and ready before the stuffing and rolling.

*Our local spice company, Badia, has released a new salt with black garlic, one of the darling ingredients of Chopped. I gently topped the skin with this mixture before cooking.

And voila …

Hasselback Butternut Squash. I do not know the origin of this verb for thinly sliced, roasted potatoes and hard squashes. I’ve enjoyed adding the technique to my repertoire. The magazine recipe was much more complex using melted butter, sage leaves and maple syrup to add to the flavor of the squash. I find butternut squash sweet and buttery and use none of these ingredients – though sometimes I brush it with Korean gochujang mixed with date syrup (silan).

Butternut squash

Oil a rimmed baking tin, or use a silicon sheet. Peel the squash and halve it lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Carefully make thin vertical slices on the rounded side, making sure not to cut through. Here’s where you can add the herbs, butter, and sweetener if using them. Cook in the same 425 degree oven with the turkey roulade for about an hour.

Our dinner was completed with a side dish of sauteed zucchini.

Funny story … so, I went ahead and froze one of the two turkey roulades for another meal. This week, I thought I’d pulled one out for dinner. No, it was plain old, plain old roast turkey breast. The roulade will be found somewhere in the freezer for another dinner …

2 comments

  1. Hi, I personally just discovered black garlic and date syrup, thanks for featuring these two novel items!

    On Wed, Jan 12, 2022, 9:53 AM Creatively Annette wrote:

    > creativelyannette posted: ” It was one of those freaky times where a > magazine starts arriving month after month and you have no earthly > recollection of subscribing. Inertia takes hold and after some months it > stops appearing. Oh, there might have been a subscription notice that fou” >

    Like

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