Friday, January 10, 2014

Easy Turkey Piccata

We love to watch old episodes of Alton Brown's Good Eats (you have probably guessed that by now).  We usually end up watching them while we each exercise on our elliptical and recumbent bike machines.  Hmmm, that sounds weird.  When I think about it, it sounds strange to be watching cooking episodes while trying to lose weight/exercise!  Well, I guess we just are a little weird. :)

Over the holidays (lots of need for exercise during the December, don't you know), we watched Alton's "Flat is Beautiful II" episode, where he led us on a journey through the world of flat foods.  We were hooked and excited to try the recipes!  The first one we tried was this Turkey Picatta.

It. Was. Amazing.  End of story.  Here's how it went.



I started off by trying to find the whole turkey breast the recipe called for, to no avail.  Instead, I bought a package of turkey breast tenderloins.  Though they were smaller than a whole breast, I think they worked out better and made a more tender finished product.


I sliced the turkey breast tenderloins into 1/2 inch - ish pieces, cross-grain.




Then, placed a piece of turkey between two pieces of plastic wrap, and spritzed the top of the plastic with a bit of water.




Then, I used this regular old sauce pan to carefully pound the piece of turkey flat. If you have a flattening device or something else that works better, please use that!  I would love to hear your techniques to flatten meat.




It was a little bit challenging to pound correctly - not too flat to disintegrate, not breaking off chunks of turkey (by having the pan not level which made the bottom edge cut into the piece of turkey), and not leaving it too thick.  But after a few I got the hang of it.




Then, I laid the pieces of turkey out on a cutting board and sprinkled each side with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.




And dipped each piece in flour.




Then quickly cooked all the pieces in a hot pan with melted butter and olive oil.




I removed the turkey from the pan, placed it in a 200 degree F oven to keep warm, and quickly made the sauce. 




Done - and so delicious.  The turkey was moist and tender.  The sauce was tang-y, lemon-y, shallot-y and had such a bright flavor.  



Turkey Piccata (adapted from Alton Brown's recipe)


  • 1 package turkey breast tenderloins, 1 - 1/2 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots (to taste)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.  Cut the turkey breast tenderloin against the grain into 1/2-inch pieces. Place pieces of turkey, one at a time, between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Squirt the top of the plastic wrap with water.  Pound to no less than 1/8 inch thickness.

Season both sides of meat with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and then dredge in flour. Shake off the excess flour. Set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium to medium high heat, heat olive oil and five tablespoons butter. Once hot, but not smoking, brown turkey pieces quickly, one to two minutes on each side, and remove to an ovenproof platter. Place in oven to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to low and add the shallots to the pan. Saute for one or two minutes or until they begin to turn translucent.  Add wine and lemon juice to the pan and simmer until slightly reduced.  This took me about four minutes. Add remaining three tablespoons butter and whisk to combine (this will help to thicken the sauce as well). Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if necessary (remember the meat is seasoned nicely). Pour your sauce over the turkey, and serve immediately.

Note: As I said, the sauce is lemon-y, and some might say too sour or tangy.  Personally, I love that little bite, but if it is a bit too much for you, tone it down by adding a little less lemon juice and a dash of sugar or honey.  Also, I think I would add a few capers to the sauce next time.

So, are you going try it?  Do you think this flat turkey is beautiful? 

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