Every year when Thanksgiving rolls around, my family and I start getting more and more festive with our everyday dinners. Why not enjoy the flavors of Thanksgiving all throughout the month, instead of just one day? I usually spend November incorporating holiday dishes into our meals so that by the time Thanksgiving is actually here, we have tested different flavors and know exactly what we want on our table.
Cooking a turkey breast rather than the entire bird is a great way to feed a smaller crowd around the holidays. It’s just as tasty, but not so time-consuming and extravagant as the full turkey. I get a boneless turkey breast with the skin still on so I can brown it up until it’s extremely crisp and succulent. After a quick sear, it’s ready for the oven. It’s cooked until tender and juicy, with nothing more than a good seasoning of salt and pepper.
To go with the turkey breast, I found some beautiful purple potatoes that I just had to buy. I roast these with fresh herbs and finish them at the end in a sauté pan, just to crisp them even more. I use all of the turkey pan drippings (the best part) to coat the potatoes. Some toasted pumpkin seeds add a festive, nutty touch, and a little butter gives them a glossy finish. These potatoes are piled high on top of the mouthwatering slices of turkey.
The dish is finished with a pomegranate gastrique, which adds tons of flavor and gorgeous color. I start by caramelizing sugar just until it is a light, golden brown. I deglaze the pan with white wine vinegar before adding pomegranate juice (any store-bought juice will work well). After this boils, I add chicken stock and bring the entire mixture back to a boil. Then, I let this cook until it has reduced down into a thick, syrupy consistency. A touch of butter at the end is all it needs to turn into a rich, decadent sauce for the roasted turkey. I sprinkle some pomegranate seeds around the dish as a garnish, so everyone knows exactly what is in the sauce!
Turkey Breast with Purple Potatoes & Pomegranate Gastrique
pomegranate + pumpkin seeds
Yield: 6-8 servings
4 lb boneless turkey breast, skin on
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 ½ lbs purple potatoes; scrubbed, halved & cut into thirds
Salt and pepper
A few fresh thyme sprigs & bay leaves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 cups pomegranate juice
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
Pomegranate seeds, to garnish
Frisee, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a wire rack inside of a roasting pan. Over medium-high heat, coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil. Season the turkey with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Sear the turkey breast on all four sides until golden brown and crisp. Transfer the turkey breast to the wire rack and place the roasting pan in the oven. Roast until the turkey is completely cooked through, about 1 ½ hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Reserve the pan drippings for the potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (see Kayla’s notes). Spread the purple potatoes on a baking sheet. Toss the thyme sprigs and bay leaves over the top. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, just enough to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and brown. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, toast the pumpkin seeds over low heat until they are fragrant. Remove from the pan and reserve for later use (reserve the pan as well).
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add the sugar and water. Over medium-high heat, dissolve the sugar and cook until the mixture is a light, golden brown color. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and pomegranate juice. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring back to a boil. Cook until the gastrique is thick and coats the back of a spoon, lowering the heat when necessary. Stir in the butter at the end and season to taste.
When the turkey is resting, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in the reserved sauté pan. Saute the roasted potatoes for a couple minutes, just to crisp them up even more. Add the turkey drippings from the roasting pan and toasted pumpkin seeds to the pan. Cook for a minute. To finish, add the butter and toss to coat. Season to taste.
Place a couple of slices of turkey on a plate and mound the potatoes on top. Drizzle the pomegranate gastrique around the plate and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds along the sauce. Garnish with the frisee.
I have two ovens in my kitchen, so I can easily roast at different temperatures. If you only have one, I would recommend roasting the potatoes first since you will sauté them at the end anyways (so you can let them cool). You can roast them beforehand in the day, whenever you have time, and refrigerate them until later.
You will most likely have turkey leftovers, depending on how many people you serve. Save for a different use, such as turkey sandwiches the next day for lunch.
Printable version of Turkey Breast with Purple Potatoes & Pomegranate Gastrique