Friday, January 07, 2011

Herbs and Garlic on a Turkey

I was gifted Ina Garten's newest cookbook, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?, for Christmas this year. I asked for it without ever having seen it just because I love Ina and know that whatever she puts out will be fabulous. The new book is no exception. It is packed with recipes I can't wait to try. I feel like she has gotten more and more down to earth over the years. I love all of her cookbooks and even have clippings of her old column in Martha Stewart Living from ten years ago, but so often she calls for expensive or hard to find ingredients. But with each new publication, I seem to find more and more that I could see myself making in my normal weeknight rotation. I mean, she has no children, she's like a kazillionaire, and she lives in The Hamptons, so it isn't any wonder that she eats mussels and lobster and roasted lamb all the time. But for the rest of us, it's delightful when she condescends to our level and serves up mac and cheese, chicken wings, or shrimp linguine.

She has always had a knack for beautiful and delicious no fuss recipes in regard to time, which makes for great brunch menus for your mother-in-law's birthday and fun dinners to share with foodie friends, but I guess she isn't always the most practical choice when cooking after a long day for three children under the age of ten. Even her mac and cheese, while delicious in my opinion, left my children in tears- not sure if it was the Gruyere or the nutmeg, but there you have it; and Gruyere is much too expensive to be something you end up force feeding to three children who would all list mac and cheese among their favorite foods.

Alright, so I am not sure what my point is because I haven't made but one recipe from the new cookbook, and while it was a huge hit, I will be putting up at least three other Ina Garten recipes from her other cookbooks for the twelve days, so I guess that doesn't prove anything. Still, just from flipping through, this new cookbook looks as if it offers a little more of the practical, affordable dishes that would suit young families like ourselves, but I will just have to let you know as I continue to cook my way through it. I know the one for today will suit everyone- unless you're a dark meat person, and then, maybe not so much...

Without further ado, a recipe I am super excited about and hope you will be too!

Herb-roasted Turkey Breast
serves 6 to 8

"Why do we only serve turkey on Thanksgiving! A whole turkey breast roasted with fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme is a great weeknight dinner and the leftovers make delicious sandwiches the next day. Roasting the turkey at 325 degrees and allowing it to rest for fifteen minutes ensures that it will be very moist." (Hear hear to all of that! )

1 whole bone-in turkey breast (6 1/2 to 7 pounds)
2 T good olive oil (I love how she always puts "good." People who even know the difference probably only buy good olive oil anyway!)
1 T minced garlic
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. dry mustard (I never buy this so I used dijon)
1 T chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 T chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 c. dry white wine (I neglected to notice the "white" part, and I never have white wine, so I had to sub in chicken stock and it worked fine. next time I will likely by the wine though.)

- preheat oven to 325 degrees. place turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.
- in a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, herbs, salt, and pepper. rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. (you can also loosen the skin and smear half of the past underneath, directly on the meat.) pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- roast the turkey for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest and meatiest part of the breast. check the breast after an hour or so; if the skin is overbrowning, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
- when the turkey is done, remove from the oven, cover the pan with foil, and allow the turkey to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. slice and serve warm with the pan juices.

AAGH! I just finished typing this out and went to link the book to Amazon, and wouldn't you know? They have this very recipe published on the Amazon page! Sorry, y'all! It's not very fun to get something you could have gotten just as easily somewhere else. Incidentally, the reviews cracked me up as the first two say the new book is just as pretentious as ever! Oh well, we'll see. To make up for the lack of originality, I'll post two recipes tomorrow. Not that they will be original to me either, but at least not actually on a page which I am referring to in my post! Seriously though, this is the easiest thing I think I have ever made. It's really no harder than frozen chicken fingers or boiling pasta and heating up a jarred sauce, but it's so much yummier and leaves time during that hour for sitting down with a glass of wine and emailing your friend in Iowa before you throw some green beans in a pot and tear up a salad (also, if you stick some sweet potatoes in the oven with the turkey, you're really fancy!) I realize the reason we usually fall back on chicken fingers or jarred spaghetti sauce is because we're short on time, but if it's energy and not time you're short on, definitely give this a try.

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