Turkey for two! Turkey for me, and turkey for you!
That’s right; while you guys are planning your gigantic Thanksgiving dinner menus, I’ll be over here in my little ‘for two’ world making you a small Thanksgiving dinner. I mean, not too small because we want leftovers. We definitely want leftovers. But we’re not going to be wrestling a 20-pound turkey into a half-nelson with buttery hands, cleaning collard greens in the washing machine, or shucking corn until our fingers bleed. No, no, no. We’re going to make a moderately-sized spread, and because we’re not using every pot and pan in the house, we’re going to make each dish special.
I moved states away from my family about 9 years ago, and so for 9 years, Thanksgiving time has been ‘travel time.’ As much as I love seeing my family and eating my parents famous Thanksgiving dinners that people drive for hours from all over Texas to eat, flying is just no fun to me. Plus, flying from California to Texas was never less than $600, no matter when I booked. But this year is fantastic because since I pushed a tiny human out of my body, everyone deemed me unfit to fly. People are coming to ME this year. Hallelujah! And despite the fact that I want to dip everyone in bleach as they walk off the plane before they touch Camille (kidding…kind of), I’m so dang happy to have everyone here!
My husband had the brilliant idea to rent a gigantic house in wine country, and host everyone there. It’s close enough to our home that we can come back if we need something, but big enough to hold everyone. Plus, we get to see so much more of each other when we’re all under the same roof.
So, let’s talk turkey! I love that boneless, skinless turkey breast has started popping up in the grocery stores. If you like cooking pork tenderloin in the oven, you’ll love working with turkey breasts. I made us a little spiced yogurt mixture to give the turkey some real flavor. And color! The reason the marinade is bright yellow is because I used fresh turmeric. I’m having a bit of a moment with its complex flavor, but you can easily substitute dried, ground turmeric.
You need plain yogurt (or kefir), garam masala, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, lime juice, cilantro, and salt.
Whisk everything together, using a microplane grater for the fresh turmeric and ginger.
Pour over the turkey breasts, adding fresh cilantro to the mix. You can make one or two turkey breasts. They usually come two per package, so I made both so we would have leftovers. If you only make one, halve the recipe for the marinade.
Let the turkey breasts marinate for a minimum of 4 hours. But, try to do it overnight just to save yourself some prep time on the big day.
Next, I sear the breasts in a cast iron skillet with a splash of oil. We’re just looking to get a nice caramelized crust on the breasts. The day I was photographing this recipe, I didn’t let the pan heat up for long enough. They should be darker than what you see in the photo. Turn the heat to high, and heat it until you can only hold your hand a few inches above the surface of the oil for a few seconds. Sear on each side while you preheat the oven.
After baking the turkey, be sure to let it rest before slicing.
- 2 1-lb. boneless, skinless turkey breasts
- 1 cup plain yogurt (or plain kefir)
- 1" grated fresh turmeric (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1" grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon garam masala spice blend
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Place the turkey breasts in a shallow baking dish.
- Whisk together the yogurt and all remaining ingredients except oil. Pour marinade on top of turkey breasts, flipping to coat very well.
- Cover the turkey and let marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably over night.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Add the oil to a large oven-safe pan (it should be big enough to fit both turkey breasts in the pan without touching). Turn the heat to high.
- Remove the turkey from the marinade and let any excess drip off.
- Sear the turkey breasts on each side, not worrying about cooking it all the way though. Just brown the outside.
- Move the pan to the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes (cooking time depends on thickness of turkey, so start checking at 15 minutes). When turkey reaches 165-degrees in the thickest part, it's done.
- Remove the turkey from the skillet and let rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.