Saturday, February 11, 2006

gobble, gobble (with orange sauce)

It's February and I'm doing a post on turkey? Yeah, I'm as surprised as you are. But maybe this just goes to prove my point: outside of the holiday season, the poor turkey simply doesn't get its due and pretty much waddles in the shadow of more prominent fowl, such as the chicken or the duck. Is this fair? I don't think so. And since we here at felix's daily starfish and waffles are all about rooting for the underdog (underbird?) and evening the playing field for the unappreciated, this morning we're going to talk a little turkey. Gobble, gobble.

Wednesday Night Salt 'n' Pepper Turkey Fillets with Reduction Orange Glaze make a nice cornerstone entrée for a romantic dinner at home. Garnish with slices of starfruit and orange and serve with a side of whole-wheat spaghetti and grilled sweet bell peppers and baby portabella mushrooms to really impress your significant other.

NOTE: Yes, this is going to be another one of my recipe posts. For those of you that have said in the past my recipe posts are boring ... too bad! You're going to sit there, eat it, and like it! So there.

Flashback to a few weeks ago. I had promised a friend I'd cook her dinner (you know, because I have more ways than just my chiseled good looks to impress girls and cooking happens to be one of them), but I got hung up at the office and didn't have time to run to the supermarket to pick up groceries. Stuck with only what I had in my fridge, a crisis was looming ... but thanks to a little focus, luck, and the availability of two turkey fillets in my darkest hour, a groundbreaking new recipe from the dingobear kitchen was born! I like to call it my Wednesday Night Salt 'n' Pepper Turkey Fillets with Reduction Orange Glaze. (And yes, I fully appreciate the irony of naming the dish my Wednesday Night Salt 'n' Pepper Turkey Fillets with Reduction Orange Glaze even though I'm writing this post on a Saturday morning, so no need for you to point anything out. You smart ass, you.)

Ok, back to the story. My new recipe passed the first test when neither I, nor my aforementioned friend, contracted food poisoning. This is always a bonus. But I knew I really had a winner on my hands when my friend finished everything on her plate and said, "mmmm, that was good." Well, actually, it wasn't so much what she said that was the indication because, let's face it, these days girls will say anything to take advantage of honest, innocent guys like me (and quite frankly, I'm tired of being a victim - but hey, this is fodder for another post). However, in this case, I think she really was being sincere plus, I enjoyed the meal myself. Anyway, long, boring story made short: crisis averted, turkey should be thanked and, in the spirit of generosity, I'm sharing my recipe here so you can avert any similar future crises of your own. Gobble, gobble!

Wednesday Night Salt 'n' Pepper Turkey Fillets with Reduction Orange Glaze
2 boneless, skinless turkey breast fillets
50-75mL freshly-squeezed orange juice
50-75mL sodium-reduced chicken broth
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional)
unbleached flour for dredging

Start by prepping the ingredients for your orange glaze. What I like to do first is take a small, California navel orange and zest the peel. A tip: when zesting, try to avoid getting any of the white, pithy part of the orange peel because this is the bitter-tasting part that'll cause your dinner guest to make scrunchy faces at you. (While this may be entertaining for you, your guest will enjoy the meal less - trust me). Set your orange zest aside for now.

Next, cut your orange into wedges and squeeze the juice out of it into a large measuring cup. Based on the the size of the California oranges we get here, this tends to net me about 50mL of juice, give or take a mL here and there. The reason I recommend using navel oranges is it'll save you the step of having to pick out all of the seeds from your glaze. Next, add the sodium-reduced chicken broth to your measuring cup. How much you add depends on how much orange juice you've squeezed - I'd suggest aiming for a one-to-one ratio so if you have 50mL of juice, pour in 50mL of chicken broth. Toss the orange zest you've set aside into the measuring cup, and also the fresh thyme. Of course, you can use dried thyme instead or no thyme at all: the only reason I suggest fresh is because I happen to have the stuff growing on my windowsill. (It's much easier to grow and better-tasting than pot). Anyway, the contents for your glaze are now pretty much done. Easy, huh?

Ok, now it's time to prepare your turkey fillets. Sprinkle both sides with salt and ground black pepper. Next, dredge the turkey fillets in the flour and coat them lightly. Besides giving it some flavour, the salt, pepper and flour will also serve to seal in all the juices in the turkey fillets while you're cooking it, thereby keep them moist and delicious.

In a large saucepan, melt the tablespoon of butter with your extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter is fully melted and begins to foam, add the turkey fillets to the pan. It'll depend on thickness, but you'll want to sear them about 2 to 4 minutes on each side. By this time, the fillets should have formed a nice, goldie-brown crust on both sides and your entire kitchen should smell y-u-m-m-y. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the turkey fillets onto a plate for the time being.

Next, pour in the ingredients of the orange glaze you prepared earlier into the same saucepan. As the mixture sizzles, immediately scrape the flavour-packed brown bits off the bottom of the pan using a wooden spatula. Return the turkey fillets back to the pan, cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes or until the turkey is just cooked through. By this time, your orange glaze will have also reduced nicely into a rich, thick, scrumptious sauce.

When done, using tongs, transfer the turkey onto a plate - a nice plate, if you're cooking for somebody else. Pour the orange glaze on top of the turkey. Serving this entrée with a side of grilled vegetables and risotto or spaghetti is highly recommended. Bon appétit and gobble, gobble!

More dingobear kitchen recipes available by clicking here, here, or also here.


  1. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed this fowl post. And, the meal looks delicious! No wonder you carry a fly swatter to keep the women away!

  2. So yummy for my tummy! Yummy! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

  3. Turkey is my favorite! Thursday is the turkey dinner special at Cracker Barrel (if I recall correctly). Unfortunately for the two of us, there are no Cracker Barrels in Canada or the New York metroplex. One day, when I move back to Texas and take everyone I've ever known with me, we will experience the bliss of 'Da Barrel.

    p.s. Nobody really calls it 'Da Barrel.

  4. Schmoffie - You know it!

    Long Division - Turkey is your favourite? LD, you and me are going get along just fine. I checked out the link you provided and yes, I can confirm that Thursday is Turkey n' Dressing day at 'Da Barrel. (I'm Canadian so I can call it 'Da Barrel).

  5. Man, the way you use that "u" in favorite is so suave.

  6. Haha! U Americun gurls crack me up.

  7. Hey Felix, this recipe sounds yummy! I think it is Fantabulous that you can just whip something like that up from your cupboard! I do the "just in time" grocery shopping thing. : )

  8. Hey there Nikki, well, there's absolutely nothing wrong with just-in-time grocery shopping. I do that myself, too.