Every year at Thanksgiving, my Italian mother (Francesca) made traditional delicious turkey stuffed and baked – Molise style. Our usual 20-pounder would feed 15 to 20 people.
While I love traditions and large family holiday gatherings, there have been times when it’s been just my husband, my son, my mother and me – four of us.
I learned how to make this Tuscan Turkey for Four in Gaiole, the Chianti area of Tuscany. It’s simmered with wine, broth over low heat. After 2 hours, the turkey is fork tender, succulent and delicious. Buon Appetito e Buon Thanksgiving!
Cooking time: 2 hours
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, stem & seeds discarded
1 medium carrot, peeled
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
One turkey breast half with bone (about 3 to 3-1/2 pounds), cut into eighths & skin discarded
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 quarts chicken broth (4-1/4 to 4-1/2 cups)
Dash ground nutmeg
3 whole bay leaves
1. In a food processor, mince together the onion, garlic, bell pepper and carrots; set aside.
2. In an 8 to 10-quart saucepot heat the oil. When oil is hot, add the turkey breast pieces and brown them 1 to 2 minutes per side on medium-high heat.
3. Stir in the onion mixture. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes or until onion mixture is tender. Turn over the turkey pieces once.
4. After 4 to 5 minutes, stir in the wine. Cover and cook on medium-high for 6 to 7 minutes.
5. After 6 to 7 minutes, turn over the turkey pieces once; gently stir. Continue cooking for 3 more minutes or until the onion-wine mixture has reduced by half.
6. When mixture has reduced by half, stir in 1 cup chicken broth, dash nutmeg and the bay leaves.
7. Cook, uncovered, on medium-high for 10 minutes or until broth has reduced by half. During this cook time, turn the turkey pieces over once.
8. Stir in 1/2 cup of broth and continue cooking on medium heat for 15 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.
9. Continue cooking on medium-low heat for an additional 1 to 1-1/2 hours, adding 3/4 cup to 1 cup broth every 15 minutes or each time the liquid reduces by half.
10. Serve one to two pieces of turkey per person. Accompany with Drunken Brussel Sprouts and Potato-Yam Chipotle Mash (previously published on this blog).
White wine pairing suggestion: chilled Pinot Grigio.
Text and Photograph ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real