Photo by Tom McCorkle and food styling by Lisa Cherkasky; for The Washington Post
This one-pan feast is a golden turkey breast stuffed with what is essentially the ingredients for a gussied-up cranberry sauce. It’s accompanied by sweet potatoes, green beans and shallots, which roast alongside the turkey and make for a delicious and colorful dish. The meal even includes a “gravy” made from the pan juices deglazed with a little boiling water. Leftover turkey and vegetables can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers for up to 3 days.
1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecan halves or pieces, divided
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) fresh cranberries, halved (may substitute 2 ounces dried cranberries, see NOTES)
3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 1/2 pounds boneless skin-on turkey breast, butterflied and pounded to about 3/4-inch thickness (see NOTES)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
3 medium shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup boiling water
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup (1 ounce) of the pecans and transfer them to a small bowl. Add the cranberries, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, the thyme, orange zest and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and toss to combine.
Sprinkle the turkey breast all over with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Spread the cranberry mixture the turkey, leaving a border of about 2 inches on all sides. Roll it up and secure tightly with kitchen twine, then brush the top with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil. Place on one side of a sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes, or until the skin turns golden brown.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on the sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Return the pan to the oven for 25 minutes.
Move the potatoes aside, then add the green beans and shallots to the pan. Drizzle them with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board to rest, then sprinkle the potatoes with the remaining 1/4 cup (1 ounce) pecans and return the pan to the oven to allow the vegetables to cook 5 to 10 minutes more, or until softened and lightly browned.
Transfer the vegetables to serving plates. Add the boiling water to the pan and stir to dissolve some of the pan juices (but avoid actively stirring any bits that have charred). Slice the turkey into 1/2-inch thick slices and serve alongside the vegetables drizzled with the pan juices.
NOTES: If using dried cranberries, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. Ask your butcher to debone, butterfly and pound the breast. While this recipe calls for half a turkey breast, most butchers sell only whole, so get the butcher to prep both halves and freeze the leftover half.
Makes 4 servings of turkey and vegetables, with 2 servings of turkey leftover
Per serving: Calories 559; Total Fat 21g; (Sat Fat 3g); Protein 50g; Carb 45g; Fiber 8g; Cholesterol 132mg; Sodium 366mg; Total Sugar 15g