Around this time of year I miss the Thanksgiving turkey. I dream about the smell of turkey roasting in the oven and the warm comforting feelings that come with the season. Here is a recipe for an easier slightly smaller version, but with all the juicy delicious flavor.
All you need is a boneless turkey breast that is butterflied, which your butcher can do for you and a little salt and sugar for brining your bird. With a few additional pantry ingredients to create the couscous stuffing, a mini Thanksgiving is back on your table.
2 lb. boneless, butterflied turkey breast
1/4 cup salt + more for seasoning
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh herbs, any kind
5 peppercorns, optional
4 spicy turkey sausages or 3/4 lb, skin removed – pork sausage can be used too
1 onion, diced
7 stalks celery, 4 diced and 3 left whole
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, or any leafy green (kale, collards, mustard greens, etc)
1 cup whole wheat cooked couscous, prepared according to package
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1. In a large bowl, place the salt, sugar, fresh herbs and peppercorns.
2. Add cold water until it reaches 2/3 full and place the turkey breast inside the bowl to brine for 24 hours. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
3. The following day 1 hour before you are ready to cook your turkey, remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
4. Next, begin to prepare your couscous for your stuffing (it should only take 5-10 minutes). In a large pan, drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil and turn your heat on medium. Place the sausages and the diced onion in the pan.
5. Break the sausages up into fine chunks, while continuing to cook. Cook the sausage and onion for 5 minutes. Next, add the celery to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 4 minutes.
6. Add the poultry seasoning to the pan and stir to combine. Continue cooking the mixture for 3 more minutes.
7. Add the spinach leaves to the pan and stir to combine. Cook the sausage mixture for 1 more minute and turn the heat off.
8. Add the cooked couscous to the sausage mixture and stir to combine. Cool the stuffing mixture for 20 minutes.
9. Prepare your roasting pan for the oven by drizzling it with olive oil and setting the remaining whole stalks of celery down the center to use as a rack for your turkey breast. Cut 3 pieces of kitchen string to tie your turkey.
10. Dollop the cooled stuffing mixture across the center of your butterflied turkey breast.
11. Fold the turkey breast together like a burrito without tucking in the ends. Flip the breast over and gently slide your string underneath to tie across the top. Continue to tie your turkey with 2 more additional strings. You may have left over stuffing, so place it in a oven safe dish to cook in the oven for the last 20 minutes of the turkey cooking time.
12. Place your turkey breast on top of the celery stalks in your roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.
13. Salt and pepper the turkey breast and peel fresh carrots to place around the sides of the pan for roasting.
14. Place the pan in the oven to roast for about 1 hour and 15-25 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
15. Remove the turkey from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Cover the turkey with foil immediately and let it rest for 20 minutes.
16. Cut your turkey breast into 2 inch slices and serve with the roasted carrots or other favorite sides such as mashed potatoes or roasted broccoli. Enjoy!