Early Thanksgiving — Turkey and Gravy

This weekend’s early Thanksgiving let me say thank you to my four closest friends in NYC for always being there for me – they are absolutely the best, and I love being able to cook for them as a small token of appreciation for having such amazing people in my life.  🙂

The menu was a bit ambitious for one afternoon since all the recipes (except for the brussels sprouts) were new and I wasn’t sure how they would turn out, but I am pretty happy with all the food.  I’m posting turkey and gravy tonight and will update with the rest of the menu throughout the week.

Servings: 6 very hungry people (or 8 smaller portions)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 105 minutes


  • 2.75 lb boneless, skinless turkey breast (normally I would use bone-in, but I went to 5 venues in NYC and could not find one, so I was stuck with boneless.  Luckily, it turned out surprisingly flavorful and moist.)
  • 1 T truffle oil
  • 1 T truffle or sea salt, plus additional sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard (I like this one)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, minced
  • 3 sage leaves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp celery seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of one lemon + 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1 whole leek
  • 4 medium sized carrots, peeled
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 7 baby zucchini
  • Medium sized bunch of parsley
  • 1 tsp truffle oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 2 c homemade (or sugar-free) chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp paprika


(1) 2 hours before you are ready to cook your turkey, form a paste out of the truffle oil, 1 T salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, mustard, 1/2 tsp paprika, rosemary, sage, fennel seeds, celery seed, garlic, and lemon zest/juice.



(2) Rub the paste all over the turkey breast on all sides, cover in foil, and refrigerate for an hour and a half.


(3) 30 minutes before you are ready to start cooking the turkey, preheat the oven to 425.  Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

(4) Place the turkey in a roasting pan on top of the leeks and parsley and surrounded by the carrots, zucchini, and celery.  I didn’t add anything but salt to the vegetables.

IMG_3590 IMG_3591

(5) Cook uncovered for 30 minutes at 425, then cover in foil and reduce the temperature to 375. Bake for an additional 65 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees with a meat thermometer.


(6) While the turkey is cooking, cook the onions and 2 cloves garlic in 1 tsp oil on low heat for about 15-20 minutes.

(7) Add the homemade stock and paprika and cook for an additional 25 minutes.  My stock is pretty gelatinous, so this thickened quickly without the use of any added ingredients.

(8) Use an immersion blender to puree the gravy, and add the tablespoon of heavy cream.  Note: the cream is optional for non-dairy eaters.

(Sorry there are no pictures – my guests were about to arrive, I was running short on time, and the gravy disappeared immediately, so I wasn’t able to snatch a picture!)


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