Cooking On A Budget: Roast Turkey de Provence

Monday, August 19, 2013

Roast Turkey de Provence


Herbes de Provence is a commercially packaged blend of spices that was created around 1970.  One would think as I did that this spice blend originated in the Provencal region of France when in fact it did not. Typically the mixtures combine savory, fennel, basil, thyme and lavender leaves as well as garlic and sea salt. Provencal cuisine uses a mixture of herbs and spices but it is not a blended and standard list of spices. I do love the flavor of this spice and have used it in roasting a chicken and decided to give it a go with Turkey. Both poultry items, right?

For the butter mixture:
  • 6 tbsp. softened butter
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. herbes de Provence

Mix the two ingredients together in a small bowl until well blended.

Our turkey was a large turkey breast weighing in at 7 lbs. That's a lot of turkey for two people and my guess is that this meaty bird could have fed 8-10 people.

I pull the skin almost all the way back using a filet knife to cut through the silver skin on the turkey.

Then I smear the butter all over the breast saving some to put on top of the mirepoix.

I pull the skin back over the bird and generously add black pepper and some salt.

To my roasting pan I add chunks of onion from half of a large sweet onion along with 2 celery sticks and 3 small carrots which were cut in good sized pieces.

To the bottom of the roasting pan I added about 1/3 of a can of turkey broth. (You could use chicken broth if that is all you have.) The turkey goes into a 350° oven, covered with aluminum foil. For this size breast I cooked it 2 hours covered.
After 2 hours I removed the foil, added in a teaspoon of Gravy Master and did the first baste. The rest of the can of broth goes in the pan.  Twenty-five minutes later did a second baste and 15 minutes after that pulled it out of the oven and basted one more time and kept it out of the oven to rest while the vegetables were cooking.

To make the gravy:
  • 2 cans turkey broth (total)
  • cornstarch
  • water
Remove the mirepoix from the pan and over two burners on high heat whisk the broth scraping all of the good bits from the sides and bottom of the pan. Add in the second can of broth if you want to make lots of gravy. Make a thickening slurry with equal parts water and cornstarch. When the liquid is boiling, whisk in the cornstarch mixture a little at a time until you achieve the thickness you want for the gravy. The more you add the thicker the gravy.

We always love carrots and mashed potatoes with turkey. It's just something that stems from our childhood and the flavors are great. You can make any vegetable to go along side. If I were making this for more people I probably would have gone all out and made a dressing for a side.

The cost for this meal came to $25.68. Serves 8 people at $3.21 per person, ten people $2.56 per person.

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