♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Today on "Cook's Country," I'm making one-pan roast turkey breast with stuffing.
Toni joins the debate -- stuffing versus dressing.
Jack talks turkey.
And Lawman's making roasted butternut squash.
It's all coming up right here on "Cook's Country."
♪♪ The first Thanksgiving was celebrated back in 1621, and most historians agree that turkey was probably on the table, alongside other local meats, including venison and cod.
Now, it wasn't until 1827 that turkey became the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table, thanks to Sarah Josepha Hale, who wrote the following in her book "Northwood" -- "The roasted turkey took precedence on this occasion, being placed at the head of the table, and well it did become its lordly station, sending forth the rich odors of its savory stuffing and finely covered with the frost of its basting."
That's a turkey I want to see.
Now, today you can buy turkey in all sorts of forms for Thanksgiving, and many people prefer just to roast the breast because it's all white meat and it's a little easier.
So that's what we're gonna do today.
So here we have a bone-in turkey breast that weighs between 5 and 7 pounds, and you can see I have it propped up on the bones.
It's really kind of lopsided.
We're gonna play with that a little bit because you want it to stand up.
That way, it'll get nice and brown all over.
Now, I'm gonna season this really easily with some fresh minced thyme.
Here's a tablespoon of minced thyme.
Gonna add a tablespoon of ground pepper and a tablespoon and a half of kosher salt.
Now we're gonna mix this together and just season the outside of the turkey front and back.
Now I'm just gonna pat the turkey dry with paper towels to get off any excess moisture.
And then we're just gonna season it up with all of this thyme and salt and pepper on the front and the back.
So this roast can be a little on the wobbly side, so to help it stay upright, I'm gonna take a wad of aluminum foil and kind of tuck it up underneath to help give it some support, just like that.
There we go, and we'll put it on a nice, clean rimmed baking sheet.
This roast is now ready for the refrigerator.
It's gonna have to be in there for at least two hours, but up to 24 hours in advance, and the salt, plus the cold air of the fridge, because we're not gonna cover it, is gonna help dry the skin out so it gets super-crisp in the oven.
Just gonna wash my hands.
♪♪ The turkey breast is ready for the oven, and we're gonna roast it in a roasting pan.
But the trick is, we're gonna put some stuffing underneath it.
That way, the stuffing gets all the benefit of the juices from the roast turkey breast as it cooks.
So here we have a nice big roasting pan.
And one thing we learned the hard way is that before you start adding things to the pan, you really want to spray it down with vegetable oil spray.
It will prevent the stuffing from burning, but also it helps keep the oil evenly dispersed during cooking.
So I'm gonna put this over medium heat, and now I'm gonna add some olive oil.
This is 1/2 cup of olive oil.
Now, you can see the olive oil is staying nice and evenly distributed over the bottom of the pan.
All right, so we're gonna let this oil start to shimmer.
In the meantime, we're gonna chop three onions.
And again, one onion is roughly 1 cup chopped.
And now I'm gonna cut it three times.
The first time is towards the root end, but not all the way through.
Now I'm gonna hold my knife horizontal, put my fingers on top, and just go once or twice through the center of the onion.
And now the last time, just slicing down to make 3 cups of onions.
All right, so the three onions are nicely chopped, and into the hot pan they go.
[ Sizzling ] Mm.
Now I'm just gonna add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
That just helps draw out the moisture in the onions as they sauté.
And we want to cook these until they're pretty soft and lightly browned, and that takes about 10 minutes.
While those onions are cooking, it's time to cut up the bread for the stuffing.
And today I'm gonna use ciabatta, which I think is ideal for stuffing because it has a good balance of crust and that soft inner.
But it also has a rustic flavor.
Better than the sweet sandwich bread.
It is my all-time favorite bread for stuffing.
So we're gonna use a whopping 2 pounds of ciabatta, which is about two loaves, and we're gonna cut it into 1-inch pieces.
And the easiest way to do this, I found, is to stand it on end and slice all the way down into two nice halves.
And then you can put them flat side down.
You can cut them into strips that are about an inch wide.
I'm gonna cut them in half just to make it a bit easier.
And then from there, you can just keep cutting them down into 1-inch pieces.
All right, let's check on these onions.
Oh, these are looking good.
They're nice and soft and are starting to get a little golden around the edges, which is perfect.
Next up, we're gonna add some garlic.
A whopping six cloves of minced garlic.
We're just gonna add this to the pan, and you're gonna cook it for about 30 seconds until you can smell it.
In next, a little white wine.
Just 1/3 cup of a dry white wine.
And a Sauvignon blanc or an unoaked Chardonnay or Chablis is perfect here.
Next up, we're gonna add 3 cups of chicken broth.
A few fresh herbs.
This is 2 tablespoons of minced fresh sage, a tablespoon of minced fresh thyme, teaspoon and a half of kosher salt.
Last, but not least, just a little kick -- 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
That smells pretty good.
Now I'm gonna turn the heat off.
And I've made sure to scrape up any of those flavorful browned bits that are on the bottom of the pan from the sautéed onions.
Now we're gonna add all this bread in.
Oh, what a lovely bed for the roast turkey breast.
Now, you want to toss the bread with all that liquid and the roasted onions and garlic and herbs.
[ Laughs ] Now, this is gonna be a little unconventional.
I'm gonna add some Italian sausage because it adds amazing flavor to the stuffing.
This is 1 pound of sausage, and I've taken it out of its casing.
You just want to crumble it into pieces and stir it into the bread.
You can use any kind of sausage you want here, or you could omit it altogether if you didn't like it, but I strongly recommend you at least try it with sausage.
All right, now I'm just gonna stir it in.
All right, the stuffing is done, and now it's time to place the turkey breast right on top.
Best to use your hands here.
I'm gonna remove that little foil ball.
So I'm just gonna place this turkey right in the center of the pan, and the stuffing will help support it and stay upright during roasting.
And we're gonna roast it at 325 degrees on the lower middle rack for about two and a half hours until the thickest part of the turkey registers 160 degrees.
♪♪ -Today, I'm going to attempt to settle an age-old question once and for all -- What exactly is the difference between dressing and stuffing?
Let's start with the stuffing.
The practice of stuffing the cavities of birds and other animals with a bread mixture is ancient.
Archeologists in Iraq uncovered a 3,700-year-old clay tablet that was inscribed with several poultry recipes, including one for a roasted bird served with softened bread.
So how is dressing different?
James Beard may provide a clue.
He included many stuffing recipes in his cookbooks that cooked inside the bird.
However, he did note that one of those stuffing dishes would make a very pleasant dressing.
This seems to suggest that stuffing is cooked inside the bird, whereas dressing is prepared outside the bird.
But like many culinary mysteries, this one comes with a regional debate.
No matter how the dish is prepared, the term "dressing" is more commonly used in the South, and in other parts of the country, the terms seem to be used interchangeably.
Whatever you call it, the stuffing or dressing on your Thanksgiving table is part of a long culinary tradition.
♪♪ -So it's been about two and a half hours, and it's time to temp the turkey.
Oh, and it is beautiful.
Look at this.
So it looks gorgeous, but the way to tell that it's all the way cooked through is to temp it, and you want to take the temperature in the thickest part of the breast.
And it should register 160 degrees.
Hovering right around 161.61.
So now I'm gonna take the turkey out of the pan.
We're gonna let it rest for at least half an hour.
To take the turkey out, I like to use two tongs.
Bring any drippings back into the stuffing.
Oh, all right.
So I'm gonna let it rest uncovered because I don't want to damage that crisp skin.
Now, I'm gonna give it this stuffing a good stir.
I'm gonna put it back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes till it's all nice and crisp.
♪♪ So the stuffing's in the oven, the turkey is resting, and now I'm gonna make a quick sauce.
Now, traditionally you serve gravy with roast turkey, but today I'm gonna show you something a little different.
It's a parsley and pomegranate sauce that I love with turkey breast because it's fresh and clean.
So it starts with 3/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley leaves.
You don't want to cut them too fine.
You don't want to make grass clippings out of it.
Parsley is done.
Next up, we're gonna add some garlic.
And when I add raw garlic to a sauce like this, I really like using a rasp-style grater because it turns the garlic into a puree that incorporates really evenly into the relish.
So two cloves right over the bowl of parsley.
You can see all that garlic has really collected in the bottom of the rasp grater.
Just use the tip of your knife to scrape it out into the bowl.
All right, so that was one clove.
We're gonna use two cloves today.
Next up, I'm going to add one minced shallot.
And to mince a shallot, you cut it just like an onion, peel off the outer layer, and then working with each half, you just cut it into a nice fine mince by slicing down and then horizontally and then down the other way.
All right, there we have it.
One minced shallot.
Into the bowl with the parsley and garlic.
Next up, 3/4 cup of pomegranate seeds, so equal parts parsley and pomegranate seeds in this relish.
Some olive oil.
This is 1/2 cup of olive oil.
This is 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
3/4 teaspoon of salt.
And that is it for this very simple, flavorful relish.
It also looks pretty festive, especially around the holidays.
The turkey breast has rested, the stuffing is crisp, and the sauce is made.
So it's time to put it all together.
Now, to start, I'm gonna finish the stuffing by adding just a cup and a half of chopped fresh parsley.
Oh, this stuffing smells good.
So now let's turn our attention to the turkey, and now I'm gonna slice it into nice thin slices.
And I'm actually gonna layer it on top of the stuffing because I think that is a lovely presentation.
So to slice the turkey, I'm gonna spin it towards me and cut right down the center to separate the two halves.
And then I'm angling my knife just to the side just to peer in so I can see that bone and then very, very slowly just cutting the meat away from the bone.
There is one.
Now working with the second side, gonna do the same thing.
That looks pretty good.
And I set this breast aside.
So now working with one turkey breast at a time, I'm gonna use a slicing knife and just slice nice thin pieces.
Oh, that skin is so crisp.
My mouth is watering doing this.
Now I'm gonna transfer the sliced turkey right on top of the stuffing just by placing it right on the slicing blade and transferring it right over to the roasting pan.
Lay it right on top of the stuffing next to the other one.
All right, the turkey is on the stuffing.
Now time to just put a little sauce over the top right down the center of each piece of turkey.
Isn't that beautiful?
Just a lovely way to serve this traditional meal in sort of a new and fresh, modern way.
Now to give it a little taste.
A little bit of the stuffing right off to the side.
I'm going right for the center of the turkey, oh, where I know it's good and juicy.
Maybe a second piece.
Now, we still have a little bit of sauce left over just to put a little on the plate.
Doesn't that look good?
Oh, cuts like a dream.
The turkey is perfectly cooked and moist and has such a clean flavor.
I love it with those pops of pomegranate seeds and a little bit of garlic and shallot and the parsley -- mmm -- paired with the stuffing.
That stuffing is it.
This is a lovely modern variation on the classic Thanksgiving meal.
And, remember, the keys to making this dish are to let that turkey sit in the refrigerator uncovered to dry out the skin, roast the turkey right on top of the bed of stuffing, and finally make a pomegranate parsley sauce.
From "Cook's Country," a great new recipe for one-pan turkey breast and stuffing with a pomegranate parsley sauce.
♪♪ -There is big news in turkey land, and it's called heritage birds.
These are old-fashioned breeds raised the way they were raised 100 years ago.
And you end up with a turkey that's absolutely delicious.
Now, a couple things that you can notice right away from looking at this bird.
The legs are really much longer than they are on a conventional supermarket turkey.
The keel bone is very high.
And the breast is very narrow and really quite small.
The modern turkey really dates back to the 1950s.
It was bred to have a lot more white meat.
But this is how the bird is in nature.
Next up, pin feathers.
Actually had feathers at one point or other, and you may see some pin feathers that you can pluck out.
A lot of fat.
And this is probably the thing I'm most excited about because it makes the turkey delicious.
Pockets of fat everywhere.
Four to five times as much fat.
It's also got a lot gamier flavor.
You can kind of see it through here that the meat is almost a bluish-purple color because this bird was actually exercised.
It actually got to run around.
And it really makes a much tastier product.
If you can find a heritage bird in the supermarket, I suggest that you buy it.
Mary's is our top-rated heritage bird.
It's really quite delicious.
It's so much easier to cook a turkey if it starts out delicious.
Now, if you can't find a heritage bird, I'm gonna start with a thing I want you to avoid, which is an injected bird.
You can see here on the label that it says it contains up to 8%.
Then it lists a bunch of ingredients.
And we found in our taste test, you're going to taste those ingredients, and they don't make the turkey better.
So you really want to look for turkey that has nothing other than turkey in it.
Anything that is antibiotic-free, free-range, vegetarian-fed, that's also a good thing.
This is our favorite brand.
This is Mary's Free-Range.
This Mary's Free-Range is also a great option if your family likes white meat.
It has a much larger breast than a heritage bird.
Any brand fresh or frozen are pretty much the same.
The only big difference is, you're going to need to plan ahead and make sure to defrost that bird for several days.
I know we think about cooking the turkey and that that's complicated.
But if you start with a better bird at the supermarket, it's gonna be so much more delicious when you get it to the table.
♪♪ -Today, I'm going to make pear-cranberry chutney.
A great chutney combines sweet fruit, tangy vinegar, and warm spices.
It's bold but balanced.
Let's start with the pears.
You can use Bartlett or Anjou.
Choose pears that are just ripe and not too soft.
Halve the pear, core it, and cut it into 1/4-inch pieces.
A single minced shallot makes the chutney savory, but we don't want it crunchy, so we're going to soften it by adding it to a pot with water and a little salt.
Cover and cook for around three minutes.
Let's add minced garlic cloves, ground coriander, pepper, and ground allspice.
Cook it till it's fragrant -- about a minute.
We're blooming the spices to release their flavor.
Time to add the pears and sugar and more water, stirring it every once in a while, but don't overcook the fruit.
Cover this for about 15 minutes.
Stir in cranberries and white wine vinegar.
Acidity is the key to a great chutney.
Increase the heat and simmer uncovered until the cranberries burst and the chutney is thickened.
Be sure to adjust the seasoning.
I'm adding some pepper and a little bit of sugar.
Let the chutney cool and then refrigerate.
This sweet and savory chutney is ready to serve.
♪♪ -Autumn is one of my four favorite times of the year.
There's football, there's the beauty of the leaves changing.
There's the scary movies during Halloween, and, of course, there's the food.
Butternut squash with apple is a fall classic, but it's not easy to do well because of the different cook times.
Let me show you how we did this.
Here I have a butternut squash that's 2 1/4 pound.
I'm gonna cut the top off and then the bottom.
Now I'm gonna peel the thick skin off the squash.
Now I'm gonna cut the squash in half.
This can be tricky because the squash likes to move around.
So I'm gonna take my non-dominant hand and hold it firmly.
Take the point of the knife.
Go right down.
Use a little leverage.
Then I'm gonna flip the squash around.
Come right down.
I'm using a normal metal kitchen spoon.
You want to take it and get right under the membrane and take the seeds right up.
Now we're gonna cut the squash into 1-inch-thick pieces.
You can either use a ruler, or I know that from the tip of my finger to right about this segment right here is about 1 inch.
So I'm gonna use that as a guide.
Make a little mark.
Now I have a guide for the rest of the pieces.
I'm cutting it into 1-inch-thick pieces because it gives the squash a lot of surface area for browning and those thick pieces are gonna stand up to the roasting.
Now, you want them about 1 inch, but more importantly, they should all be the same size for even cooking.
Toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Just want to finish mixing the squash.
You want to spread it out on an even layer on your baking sheet.
I'm gonna roast the squash for 14 to 16 minutes in a preheated 450-degree oven.
You'll notice the rack is at its lowest position closest to the heating element.
That's so when I roast the squash, it's gonna caramelize, and it's gonna help bring out its inherent sweetness.
♪♪ While the squash is roasting, I'm gonna prep the other star of this dish -- the apple.
First coring the apple.
Now, the apple's gonna bring a little sweet tartness that's gonna help accentuate the subtle sweetness of the butternut squash.
Cutting in half and then into 1/2-inch wedges.
Adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Now, you notice I didn't peel the apple.
The peel is gonna help keep the apple together and help it hold its integrity.
The squash is ready to come out.
The squash is just beginning to brown.
You're not gonna see any color on the top.
I'm gonna be adding the apple in any of the spots that are left over.
I'm gonna roast the squash and the apple eight minutes until the squash is caramelized and the apple is cooked.
I'm making a simple vinaigrette that's gonna bring the butternut squash and apple flavors together.
Here I have 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
I'm gonna add 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Gonna stir that together until the sugar dissolves.
The sugar is gonna add balance.
To that, I'm gonna add 3 tablespoons of shallot, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flake.
Just add a little heat.
Gonna stir that until it's combined.
Now that the vinaigrette's done, let's check on the oven.
It smells amazing in here.
Now, the way to know the squash is done -- I'm gonna take a paring knife.
I'm gonna poke it into the thickest part of the squash.
It should go in and out with little to no resistance.
If the squash is done, you know the apple is done, and these are perfect.
Now I'm gonna transfer them to this platter so you can see it.
Its nice and caramelized color.
The only thing left is to spoon the dressing right over the top.
Basically have autumn on a platter.
Now what I've been waiting for -- I'm gonna taste some of it.
You get that subtle sweetness of the squash, the tart sweetness of the apple.
The dressing just brings it all together.
If I bring this to someone's house, I'm gonna be very popular.
To create this great fall treat, remember to stagger the cook time and create a simple vinaigrette that's gonna marry the flavors together.
So from "Cook's Country," roasted butternut squash with apple.