I know, a turkey post after the holidays? “Ugh, not again!” you must be thinking if you’re a holiday carnivore. But wait, this one is a quick meal, and it didn’t take hours to make. No laboring over the turkey, basting it, etc. It can be made as a fairly quick weeknight dinner.
For this recipe, I used turkey tenderloins. Due to the very low fat content in this cut of meat, it is very easy to dry out, but if cooked properly, is very easy to make, and is fairly tasty and good for you depending on how you season it. I butterflied the tenderloins, stuffed them, seared them, then finished them off in the oven.
Instead of a traditional stale bread or cornbread stuffing, I made a quick stuffing of onions, garlic, spinach, and panko bread crumbs, moistened with some extra virgin olive oil to give the stuffing and the turkey some fat. It was quite delicious, and only took about 5 minutes to throw together, not 45 minutes or more like a traditional stuffing.
Serve it with whatever sides you like. I served with some vegetable rice, seasoned with some garlic powder and a slight amount of butter. But it would be great with mashed potatoes, some roasted mushrooms, asparagus, or whatever else you like.
On another note, the sauce was almost a cooking fail. I attempted to make a sour cream sauce using the pan drippings, but I had the heat too high and it broke, leaving a grainy puddle of a sauce. So I improvised and made a balsamic vinaigrette to spoon over the turkey.
What You’ll Need:
Turkey / Stuffing:
– 2 turkey tenderloins
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 1 box of chopped spinach (10 oz), defrosted and pressed to remove all liquid
– 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
– ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
– ¼ cup olive oil
– Garlic Powder
– ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
– Smoked Paprika
Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette:
– ¾ cup olive oil
– ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
– Garlic powder (or you can use minced garlic)
Turkey & Stuffing:
Note: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
1: Heat a skillet over medium heat and add some a few teaspoons olive oil
2: Chop the onion and garlic, and then add to the hot oil. Season with some salt and pepper. Stir frequently so garlic does not burn.
3: After about 4 minutes, when onions are soft and begin to become translucent, add the spinach in and season again slightly. After cooking for a couple minutes, add the bread crumbs and the olive oil. Let the crumbs toast slightly in the oil and keep stirring. Turn off the burner and remove from heat to let cool a few minutes.
4: Butterfly the turkey tenderloins (split in half without cutting all the way through) and press it down flat. Season the inside with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
5: Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the stuffing In each tenderloin and flatten into a thin layer. From one end lengthwise, roll up the tenderloin tightly, making sure to keep the stuffing inside.
6: Tie the tenderloin in sections using some butcher twine. This will ensure even cooking.
7: Season the outside liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
8: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and heat up some olive oil (or your favorite type), about 2 Tbps, or enough to coat the bottom if using a stainless steel pain. Sear each side of the tenderloin for a couple of minutes to develop a crust, then slide the entire pan (MAKE SURE it is oven safe, and check how high the pan’s tolerance is) into the oven.
9: Cook until the internal temperature registers about 165 degrees in the thickest part of the meat itself, not the stuffing. You can also do the old knife test, where you cut open the thickest portion to ensure that the inside is cooked through. No Salmonella here!
10: Remove from the oven and tent (cover) with some foil, resting for another few minutes. The turkey will continue to cook another 5 or so degrees to reach the perfect temperature. Cooking to a higher temperature will risk drying it out. Remove the twine, and then slice into rounds. Serve with your desired side.
1: Add ingredients to a small bowl, then whisk until fully emulsified (blended together). Since this isn’t stabilized by any mustard, egg yolk, or mayonnaise, it will separate after a few moments. Just mix again vigorously until re-blended, then spoon over the turkey.
Hope you enjoy!
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