This recipe is for anyone who is not planning on roasting a whole turkey for Thanksgiving, yet wants to have some turkey the day of…just not for a week afterward.
Can I interest you in turkey tenderloins stuffed with a savory filling of butternut squash, cranberries, sage and pecans? All the tastes of Thanksgiving wrapped up in a neat little edible package. These are not hard to make, they taste fabulous and even the next day, they still taste great leftover for lunch.
Turkey tenderloins are the tender long strip of white meat hidden under the turkey breast. They are succulent, and so excellent for fast cooking. Because they are so lean you want to be sure you don’t overcook them or the meat will be dry. Once stuffed they are seared a little to brown them up, then covered and baked in the oven to finish cooking. By covering the pan you keep all the moisture inside, thereby maintaining moisture in the meat.
I made these for Mr. D. and me as a pre-Thanksgiving meal to try them out, but they would be good anytime you want just a small amount of turkey or you’re planning a meal for a special occasion.
BUTTERNUT STUFFED TURKEY TENDERLOINS
Yield: Makes 4 servings
- 1 pound boneless turkey tenderloins ( about 2 large, or 4 smaller ones)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/3 cup chopped shallots
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups diced butternut squash, 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. dried sage
- 2 Tbsp. chopped pecans
- cooking twine
- cooking spray
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add shallots and garlic and sauté over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until soft and golden.
Add butternut squash, cranberries, maple syrup and 1 Tbsp. water and cover; cook on low for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and add salt, pepper and sage. Stir in the pecans and set aside to cool slightly.
2. Cut a pocket into the sides of the tenderloins, being careful not to cut all the way through at the ends. Sprinkle inside and out with salt.
3. Stuff each turkey breast with about 1/2 cup of squash mixture. (This really depends on the size of your tenderloins. Stuff them as full as possible.) Cut cooking twine long enough to tie each breast with 3 to 4 pieces of twine. Cut off extra “tails”.
4. Preheat oven to 375*F. Wipe out the skillet you’ve previously used and reheat to medium-high. Spray with a little cooking spray. Carefully sear each turkey tenderloin on each side. If your skillet is oven proof, cover tightly with foil and place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. (If your skillet is not oven proof, transfer the tenderloins to a baking dish and cover with foil.) Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
SOURCE: Slightly modified from Skinny Taste