Turkey Talk

It’s time to start thinking about the holiday bird and what you put with it. Here’s a cranberry-wine twist for the bird, sweet potatoes with a lemon zest and a cranberry-pecan cobbler to jazz up the traditional pies.

Roast Breast of Turkey with Cranberry-Wine Sauce

This delicious turkey recipe adds a cranberry-wine sauce that adds pizazz to traditional turkey for the smaller turkey crowd.

Time Needed: 80 minutes (20 minutes prep, 60 minutes bake)

Serves: 4


  • 1 whole turkey breast, boned and tied, about 3 ½ – 4 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup finely minced onion
  • ½ cup finely minced celery
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Rub the turkey with two tablespoons of butter and season with salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and roast about one hour until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees.
  2. While the turkey is roasting, heat the remaining butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and celery and sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are uniformly brown. Stir in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the stock, cranberries, vinegar and sugar and cook over medium heat until the berries soften and pop, about 10 minutes. Continue simmering about 10 minutes longer, until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover and keep at a very low simmer until ready to serve.
  4. When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest at least 10 minutes. Remove the trussing string and slice the meat about 1/4 –inch thick. Arrange the slices on a warm platter, drizzle with a little of the sauce and pass the rest along.

Sweet Potatoes with Lemon

This dish from Molly O’Neill is a perfect addition to a turkey dinner that adds a lemon zing to sweet potatoes.

Time Needed: 80 minutes

Serves: 8


  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6-inch strip of lemon rind, yellow part only
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Rinse the potatoes under warm water. Place in large pot, cover with cold water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender – about 30 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, ½ cup water, nutmeg, lemon rind and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add 5 tablespoons of butter and stir well. When the butter has melted, remove from heat, beat in the lemon juice and set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into ½-inch discs. Use the remaining butter to grease a shallow baking dish. Lay the sweet potatoes in a single layer, pour the lemon syrup on top and bake for 30 minutes until bubbling hot.

Cranberry-Pecan Cobbler

Inspired by Florence Fabricant, this recipe replaces the traditional Thanksgiving pie with a cobbler featuring two holiday favorites – cranberries and pecans.

Time Needed: 60 minutes (45 minutes of bake time)

Serves: 6-8


  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 4 ½ cups cranberries
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons flour, plus flour for work surface
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Cornmeal biscuit dough
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use one tablespoon butter to brush a 9-inch square or 10-inch round baking pan 1/12 to 2 inches deep.
  2. Combine berries, pecans, sugar, 1-1/2 tablespoons flour, orange juice, cinnamon and remaining butter in a bowl. Transfer mixture to baking dish.
  3. On floured work surface pat dough into an 8-inch square about ½-inch thick. Use cutter or knife to cut small rounds, squares or 1-inch wide strips of dough and arrange in pattern over cranberry filling. Dust with sugar.
  4. Bake about 45 minutes, until topping has browned and filling is bubbly. Allow cooling until just warm before serving, or cool completely and reheat in oven to serve. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.


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