Mama J’s Southwest Kitchen

Mama J’s Southwest Kitchen

Savory roasted turkey with vegetables

By Leann Grunwald


– 1.5 pound turkey breast, bone out

– 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt 

– Extra virgin high-quality olive oil as needed 

– 2 carrots, peeled and large diced

– 1 bulb fennel, halved, cored and cut into

  thick strips 

– 1 yellow onion, peeled and large diced 

– 10 Brussels sprouts, stem removed and halved 

– 2 tablespoons thyme leaves 

– 3 tablespoons European butter, room temp (AJ’s Fine Foods) 

– Turkey stock as needed

– 2 tablespoons chicken demi glacé 

– 1 lemon, halved


Heat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a large cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat.

Season turkey breast with kosher salt and set aside. 

Toss all vegetables in extra-virgin olive oil, well coated and set aside. 

Using a pestle and mortar, paste the thyme leaves until they are dark green in color. Add butter and mix. Smear the thyme butter all around the turkey breast.

Remove skillet from oven and put the vegetables on the bottom of the pan. Then, rest the turkey on top of the vegetables in the middle. Add lemon into pan. 

Dilute chicken demi glacé and 2 cups of turkey stock on top of the stove in a sauce pan over medium heat. Baste turkey with this liquid every 20 minutes. 

Roast 40-45 minutes until turkey reads an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part.

Remove from the oven and tent the pan with aluminum foil for 10 minutes to rest before serving. 

Don’t miss out on the awesomeness below! 

Mama J’s How-to:

1. When you open the oven to baste the turkey, go fast, because the oven temperature will drop. If you can manage the weight of the pan, it is best to remove the entire pan, close the oven door and then baste fast. Then get the turkey back into the oven quickly. This technique makes a difference in the end product. This is how chefs do it. 

2. Buy the real turkey stock and chicken demi glacé at Williams-Sonoma. Please, loves, do not buy the grocery store products. I want your dish to turn out fabulous for you. 

3. Demi glacé is rich and savory. It adds a delicious depth.

4. Cast-iron is best for all your cooking needs. It maintains the heat. 

5. Pre-heating cast-iron in the oven prevents cold spots. 

6. Pestle and mortar: It pastes, aromatizes and maximizes flavor. This will be your favorite tool. Buy this item at Williams-Sonoma or online.

7. Don’t put butter under the skin of the turkey. This separates the skin and prevents skin from getting crisp.  

8. Temper proteins before cooking. Remove from refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes. Cold proteins throw cooking times off. And the skin won’t brown well. 

With simple techniques, everyone can make food with big flavor. Follow the “How-to” and watch beautiful food unfold. 

Leann Grunwald is a children’s culinary instructor, food writer and the face behind What’s Cooking with Mama G. Connect with her at

© 2018 85085 Magazine. A Division of Strickbine Publishing Inc.

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