Monday, November 21, 2016

Citrus Fruit Glazed Filet of Turkey








     Turkey Has Become An Italian Tradition
     Most home cooks make a huge roast turkey with all the traditional fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner.  There are few home cooks that are more adventurous and they do not hesitate to whip up a fancy gourmet turkey entrée instead of conforming to tradition.  Creating a great turkey entrée for a special occasion is fairly easy to do, because so many food items and sauces go well with poultry.
     Turkey is not just an American Thanksgiving holiday meal.  Turkey can be prepared in the same way that chicken, pork and veal can be prepared.  I once worked on a paddlewheel dinner cruise boat that had nice version of Turkey Marsala on the menu.  An item like Turkey Marsala appeals to those who do not consume veal.
     Today's turkey recipe is called Tacchino al Agrume (Turkey with Citrus Fruit) in Italy.  During the last two decades, turkey has become a popular meat option in Italy.  Many traditional Italian ground pork or pork sausage recipes have been adapted to turkey sausage, because turkey is a healthier choice.  For the same reason, turkey breast filet entrées prepared with traditional Italian veal sauces are now more commonplace.
     Italian Tacchino al Agrume is a popular recipe, but there are many recipe variations.  In all probability, the recipe has not been standardized, because it is relatively new.  Some recipes are as simple as a turkey breast baked with citrus fruit on top.  Some recipes are a reduction sauce flavored with a classic Italian liquor and citrus fruit.  Nearly every Italian recipe for Citrus Turkey requires a variety of citrus fruit to be used, but the choice of citrus fruit is up to the chef.

     Citrus Fruit Glazed Filet of Turkey:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.  
     Step 1:  Cut an 8 ounce turkey breast filet steak that is about 3/4" thick.
     Lightly season with sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add the turkey filet.
     Sauté the turkey filet on both sides till light golden brown highlights appear.
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Drain off the excess grease from the pan.
     Step 4:  Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan.
     Add 3 ounces of Italian Grappa (or brandy).
     Add 1 1/2 ounces of Italian Galliano Liquor.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of raw sugar.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Step 5:  Cover the pan with a lid.
     Place the covered pan in a 350ºF oven.
     Braise till the turkey is fully cooked and tender.  (The center temperature should be over 165ºF)
     Step 6:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Remove the lid.
     Place the pan over medium low heat.
     Step 7:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest to the sauce in the pan.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of lime zest.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of tangerine zest.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice.
     Add 3 tablespoons of tangerine juice.
     Add 2 lime slices to the sauce in the pan.
     Add 2 lemon slices.
     Add 5 tangerine segments.  (Be sure to remove any seeds first.)
     Step 8:  Simmer and reduce till the sauce is a thin consistency that can glaze a spoon.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Step 9:  Place the turkey filet on the front half of a plate.
     Remove the lemon and lime slices from the sauce and overlap them across the top of the turkey filet.
     Arrange the tangerine segments in a row across the the turkey filet.
     Spoon the citrus glaze over the fruit and turkey filet.  (About 2 tablespoons)
     Serve with vegetables and potato of your choice.
     *The vegetables in the photos are Pan Roasted Cumin Potato Medallion and Buttered Green Beans.  The plate was garnished with cilantro sprigs and papaya salsa.

     The flavor of the semi sweet citrus glaze is perfect with turkey!

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