Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Turkey Fantastic

It's tricky to keep up with the comings and goings of a girl like me, don't you think? Seems like I'm aways on the move, jetting around hither thither, back and forth. One minute I'm lapping up the chocolate love at Cadbury World in England, and now two days later, I'm in fantastic, lovely, warm as can be (sigh with happiness) Chicago, where I will be loitering and checking out the culinary fab for a few days before my jet setting resumes. Seriously though, four days ago I had no plans at all to be here, but then I suddenly decided I needed a break from my British break, the invitation was extended, and I was off in a poof of jetfuel.

The perfect welcome back (though, since I'm not from Chicago, it's more like a welcome here) to the US was a glorious six pound turkey breast (From Whole Foods. Cost? $38. Yikers.) I was directed to last night with the humble request to make something tasty for dinner. I thought it would be the perfect time to whip up a meal that was somewhat out of charecter from a cookbook on the shelf. Turns out, I didn't use any specific recipe, but did concoct this, based on a a title of a recipe from Jewish Festival Cooking. Or was is Jewish Holiday Cooking? Anywho, I totally forget the name and it's too far away from where I am sitting to go find out. (Ah, the Midwestern attitude is already seeping into my bones. Next up, portions for one that could feed six and a deep dish pizza.) The concept they espoused was Red Wine, Pomegranate, Olive and Prune, so its not really even remotely the same anyway, though I do think it has a Middle Eastern flair I dont normally incorporate.

Even though I hope everything I am going to make is fab (ha HA) I was convinced this was going to come out funky as sin (aren't I optimistic!), since the fresh fruit with olives and capers seems like an odd match, but I was super thrilled at what an incredible combination of flavors it turned out to be. Sweet and fragrant, salty and piquant, juicy and tender, it was a dream to make and filled the house with outstanding smells that had me floating. It took about 15 minutes to concoct, and 1 hour to roast, but if you were using a chicken (which I suggest, since in retrospect, I should have divided the turkey and frozen part of it or at least made a second dish with half) it would be a touch quicker. Try, and ENJOY!

(I am hoping to get pictures up today, but my camera and this computer - an annoying Mac - seem to be in a power struggle. Stay tuned...)

1 six pound turkey breast (no ribs)
1 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup raspberry red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons honey
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
4 plums, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
1 leek, sliced thin
1/4 cup pitted black, brine cured olives
1 large tablespoon capers, rinsed
1/4 cup raisins (or prunes. If you use them, leave out the fresh plums)
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 pats butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed into 2 teaspoons cold water just prior to use
Olive oil to coat

Preheat your oven to 375F

In a medium saucepan, combine the juice, vinegar, stock, honey and garlic and simmer to reduce, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let chill for a few minutes.

Line a roasting pan with foil and add in a single layer the plums, celery, leek, olives, capers, raisins, raspberries, thyme and pepper. Toss with some olive oil and place the turkey on top. Pour the marinade over the turkey, then rub with one pat of the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 40 minutes, basting twice. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and baste again. Continue to cook until the skin is crisp and the turkey is cooked through, about another 15 minutes.

When the turkey is cooked, remove and set aside. Strain the remaining liquid into a pan and set on high heat to reduce (if you want to remove the fat, do so at this time), add the remaining butter and cornstarch mixture. Whisk vigorously and serve over the sliced meat and remaining vegetables.

Serves eight


There are over 200 different known species of raspberries but only 2 species are grown on a large scale.

In 45 A.D. the raspberry fruit were called “ida,” probably after the mountain they were found growing on.

Honey is one of the oldest foods in existence. It was found in the tomb of King Tut and was still edible since honey never spoils.


Welcome back to the country you foxy gal! Roar! We missed you. Now go get a Chicago style hotdog!

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