Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Friday, August 26, 2011

Braised Turkey with Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Braised meat of any kind. The searing of the meat, then slow cooking in liquid really brings out a delicious flavour in both the meat and the gravy. This lovely recipe was very good..and the turkey was really tender and juicy...I guess a play on thanksgiving if you think about it..Turkey and Sweet Potato's?? Yes Please!

Braised Turkey with Sweet Potato Gnocchi

 When I went to go pick up the turkey meat i was on the hunt for Turkey thighs or Turkey Breasts...both bone in. However...all my butcher had was turkey legs :(
The recipe came out fine, however, turkey legs have a LOT of connective tissue, so it was a bit of a pain when I took the legs out of the braising liquid and had to remove the meat from the bone. My suggestion..use breasts or thighs. Much easier. Season your Turkey with Salt Pepper and Olive Oil.
 Sear the Turkey in a heavy bottom pan (cast iron preferred) on high heat. You just want to lightly brown all sides of the meat. Once browned remove from the pan and set aside for now.
 In the same pan, melt about 3 Tbsp of butter and throw in about 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are slightly browned.
 Add 3/4 cup high quality balsamic vinegar to the mixture. Lower the heat to medium and cook, reducing the liquid by at least half.
 The balsamic will start to thicken as it reduces and take on a syrupy consistency.
 Add about 15 cloves of blanched garlic. I read about blanching garlic on the web a couple of weeks ago. To blanch garlic place cloves in a small sauce pan covered in cold water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, drain water and repeat process at least 3 times. The blanching process removes the bitterness from the garlic and allows the sweetness to come through.

 Once your blanched garlic has had a few minutes to saute and become fragrant, add 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth to the pan. Now...I don't own a lovely cast iron dutch oven. If you have one you probably could do this entire process in that pot. I transferred all the ingredients to my corning ware...it still worked fine.
 Make sure that your turkey is pretty much all covered in braising liquid. If not..turn the turkey every 20 minutes. Bake in a 375F oven for about 30-40 minutes or until Turkey is juicy and falling off the bone.

 When the turkey is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside on a cutting board. We will deal with that in a minute. Pour all the pan drippings including mushrooms and garlic back into a saucepan (or just leave it in your dutch oven). Over medium high heat, start to reduce your sauce...stirring occasionally. You want the sauce to be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon..so reduce by at least 1/2.
 In the meantime, remove all the chicken off the bone, making sure to discard any skin and connective tissue.
 When your sauce is reduced, add the turkey pieces back to the sauce along with 1 cup baby spinach. Cook until Spinach is wilted and serve over sweet potato gnocchi or rice.
Enjoy with a nice expensive bottle of red wine and your sweetie!

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