Franklin’s Smoked Turkey Breast

I don’t know about you, but I am pretty exhausted from the Thanksgiving holiday. As normal, I spent hours in the kitchen cooking up the feast which included a green bean casserole, creamed corn, gravy, a dry brined turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing/stuffing, and this thing of beauty; Franklin’s smoked turkey breast. My colleague turned me onto this recipe and he swore by it. Whenever someone who cooks gets that excited about something, I figured it was worth a shot, and boy was this one ever delicious. As a matter of fact, many said it was probably their favorite, along with my Thanksgiving sausage stuffing.

This turned out awesome, and as I cannot compare as I’ve never had the honor to get to Austin, Texas to try Franklin’s BBQ, I can tell you that this was fall apart tender with just the right amount of smoke.

Franklin's Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe
Franklin’s Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 lb turkey breast
  • 2 whole sticks of butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • your favorite wood chips for smoking (I used cherry)

Start by mixing the salt and pepper in a bowl. remove the skin from the turkey breast and discard it.

Rub the turkey breast with the black pepper and salt, all over all of the sides. Now get your smoker ready. I’ve been using the Smokenator 1000 for some time now, but you could use your grill if you desire. Once the smoker comes to temperature (I shoot for about 250 degrees), add the turkey breast, cover, and let it slowly smoke for about 2.5 hours. Once the turkey is slightly browned, carefully remove it and place it on a plate.

Pull 2 big sheets of aluminum foil off, enough to easily wrap the turkey breast, and top the breast with the two sticks of butter. Cover with the foil, and return back to the smoker, butter side down. Make sure the breast is completely covered and to not have butter dripping down into your smoker! 

How to make Franklin's BBQ smoked turkey breast
How to make Franklin’s BBQ smoked turkey breast

Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours, or until the center of the breast registers around 160 degrees.

When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the foil from the turkey breast, and pull apart with a couple of forks.

This smoked turkey breast was so tender and juicy from cooking in that butter, and it was perfectly seasoned. I served mine on a couple of toasted buns, along with some barbecue sauce and pickles. I will definitely be making this again and again, plus it is perfect to serve during any holiday season. Hope you enjoy!

Franklin's Smoked Turkey Breast
Author: 
Recipe type: Turkey
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3.5 lb turkey breast
  • 2 whole sticks of butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • your favorite wood chips for smoking (I used cherry)
Instructions
  1. Start by mixing the salt and pepper in a bowl. remove the skin from the turkey breast and discard it.
  2. Rub the turkey breast with the black pepper and salt, all over all of the sides. Now get your smoker ready. I’ve been using the Smokenator 1000 for some time now, but you could use your grill if you desire. Once the smoker comes to temperature (I shoot for about 250 degrees), add the turkey breast, cover, and let it slowly smoke for about 2.5 hours. Once the turkey is slightly browned, carefully remove it and place it on a plate.
  3. Pull 2 big sheets of aluminum foil off, enough to easily wrap the turkey breast, and top the breast with the two sticks of butter. Cover with the foil, and return back to the smoker, butter side down. Make sure the breast is completely covered and to not have butter dripping down into your smoker!
  4. Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours, or until the center of the breast registers around 160 degrees.
  5. When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the foil from the turkey breast, and pull apart with a couple of forks.

 

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Celery Root Puree

Our local farmer’s market is winding down, and that is always unfortunate. A couple of weeks ago I stopped there, as I always do, and took a look around. A lot of root vegetables were starting to appear, and I figured I would pick up a few things, one of them being the knobby looking celery root. If you have never seen or used celery root, trust me, it’s pretty darn awesome.  It looks a bit hairy and the roots are still hanging on the base of it, but when you peel all of that back, your left with pretty much a white ball. There are all sorts of ways to cook celery root, and I decided to go with a classic, and make a celery root puree. Smooth, earthy, and creamy, this puree is a perfect side dish as we head into colder weather.

Celery Root Puree
Celery Root Puree

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 celery root, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp of salt, to taste
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • water to cover the potatoes and celery root
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

Start by adding the celery root, potatoes, heavy cream, and water to a medium sized pot.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender.

Remove about a cup of the cream and set it to the side. Strain the mixture, then use a stick blender, or masher, and blend into a smooth puree. Fold in the reserved cream, butter, and salt. Taste for any additional salt.

The result is something you would think would be a mashed potato, but it’s not. It may be something better! This stuff is super creamy, light, and has just that slight bit of earthiness that I know your guests will be trying to guess at. I’m glad I picked this up at the farmer’s market, and I know that I will be making this again before winter is over. Hope you enjoy!

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The Best Sausage Stuffing Recipe

I’m always curious why sausage stuffing is typically only served maybe once or twice a year, typically around the holidays. In all honesty, sausage stuffing, or sausage dressing if you will, is probably my favorite part of the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday. No lie. I could probably just live off of that during those couple of days, with a ladle of gravy, I’m set. I’ve been making this recipe for years now, and I might add a slight twist or two depending on my mood, but this is the one, and one that many people love.

The Best Sausage Stuffing Recipe

This recipe uses fresh herbs, a couple of different types of bread, chicken livers, sausage, and an array of vegetables, all drowned in chicken stock to be baked, then crisped at the end. It’s a wonderful spoonful in every bite.

This recipe feeds a small army, probably 12 or more, so from this, you can figure out what you need, or freeze the leftovers and use them up on any day where you require a bit of comfort food.
Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup of chicken livers, pureed in a food processor
  • 2 pounds of Jimmy Dean’s Pork Sausage with Sage
  • 1/2 cup of fresh sage, minced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh rosemary, minced
  • 21 oz Pepperidge Farm herbed seasoned stuffing
  • 4 cups sour dough bread cut into thick cubes
  • 6 slices of Nueske’s bacon, cut into pieces
  • 1 head of kale, stems removed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions, minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 5 cups of chicken stock, warmed
  • 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt, to taste

Heat two skillets on your stove, on medium heat.

To one skillet add the canola oil and let it come to temperature. Once heated for a few minutes, add the pureed chicken livers and mushrooms, and give a good stir.

To the other skillet, add the chopped bacon.

Cook the livers only for a few minutes, stirring along the way, then remove the skillet from the heat and set the livers into a bowl.

Cook the bacon, just until slightly crisp, then strain some of the bacon fat, reserving for later use if you want.

To the skillet with slightly cooked bacon, add the chopped kale, and half a cup of water. Continue cooking until the kale gets nice and wilted, about 12 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Once heated, add the sour dough bread cubes to a baking sheet and place into the oven, cooking for about 12 minutes or so until the bread is nice and golden crisp.

To the skillet where you were cooking your chicken livers, heat on medium high heat, add the 2 pounds of Jimmy Dean sausage. Cook the sausage until nice and crisp, about 10 minutes. Once cooked, place into a bowl and set the sausage to the side.

To your large skillet, add the butter. Cook on medium heat and let the butter melt. Add the onions, garlic, parsley, fresh herbs, and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes or until everything is nice and tender. Season with the salt and pepper.

How to make Thanksgiving Stuffing

I used a large aluminum pan that I purchased from the store to mix all of the ingredients.

To the large pan, add the bread cubes, bacon and kale mixture, liver and mushrooms, raisins, and sausage. Give this a good mix, making sure you incorporate all of the ingredients. Next, ladle in the warm chicken stock. You want to make sure the mixture gets softened, but not mushy. You don’t want mush.

Cover the pan with foil.

To the preheated 325 degreed oven, add the stuffing pan, and cook for 30 minutes, covered. Next, uncover cook for an additional 15 minutes so the top gets a bit crisp.

How to make Thanksgiving Sausage Stuffing

The end result is pretty flipping amazing. You get sweet, savory, and great texture all around. This is my go to stuffing recipe and it’s one that I crave during the fall and winter months.

Hope you enjoy!

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Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Finally the Thanksgiving holiday is behind us, and hopefully we all survived the anxiety of making sure guests and food all turned out well. This past Thanksgiving was another success. We did not host this year, however we went to my in-laws and everyone brought a side dish, appetizer, or dessert. It worked out well. My responsibility was the turkey and the dressing (or stuffing). I’m always game for taking on those challenges, and I will admit, the dressing (or stuffing) is one of my favorites. I bought a large turkey, enough to feed everyone, and decided to simply stuff it with oranges, apples, and herbs, shove butter under the skin, and top it with Nueske’s bacon. It turned out pretty awesome, and with that said, we had leftovers. Lots of leftovers. My favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday is probably waking up the following day and heating up a plate of leftovers. I’ll admit it, no problem. BUT I still had leftovers. That’s when I decided to make something my wife really, really loves, and that is shepherd’s pie. So what a better use of leftovers than making a turkey shepherd’s pie.

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

What I love about shepherd’s pie is that it is so easy to make, and it just screams comfort in every bite. Perfect for any day of the week, and great for work day leftovers.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of leftover Thanskgiving stuffing/dressing
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, and diced, approximately 1 cup
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups of leftover turkey, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 whole baking potatoes, skinned, cubed
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • leftover gravy, optional

Start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in the butter and canola oil, and let the butter melt. Add in the carrots, celery, and onion, and let this cook for about 8 minutes, stirring along the way.

Next add in the turkey, stir, and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add in the corn and peas, and give another stir. Add in the salt and pepper. Stir, and remove from the heat.

Make the potatoes by adding the potatoes to a large pot of cold water. Bring this to a boil and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Once tender, drain, add the potatoes back to the pot, cooking over medium heat to remove any excess water, then add in the butter and milk. Mash, or use a ricer. Taste and adjust any butter or salt if needed.

How to make turkey shepherd's pie

Next get a 9×13 inch baking dish out. Line the dish with the leftover Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing. Top with the turkey and vegetable mixture, then lather on the mashed potatoes.

Place the dish, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove and serve.

To serve, scoop out a serving and ladle on warm gravy. The end result is nothing short of comforting. It has everything you want in a great bite of food, and to me, I would be just happy serving this for my next Thanksgiving, it’s that good.

How do you use your leftover Thanksgiving food?

Turkey Shepherd's Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of leftover Thanskgiving stuffing/dressing
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, and diced, approximately 1 cup
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 cups of leftover turkey, chopped
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • ½ cup of frozen corn
  • ½ tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tbsp canola oil
  • 3 whole baking potatoes, skinned, cubed
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • leftover gravy, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium heat. Add in the butter and canola oil, and let the butter melt. Add in the carrots, celery, and onion, and let this cook for about 8 minutes, stirring along the way.
  2. Next add in the turkey, stir, and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add in the corn and peas, and give another stir. Add in the salt and pepper. Stir, and remove from the heat.
  3. Make the potatoes by adding the potatoes to a large pot of cold water. Bring this to a boil and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Once tender, drain, add the potatoes back to the pot, cooking over medium heat to remove any excess water, then add in the butter and milk. Mash, or use a ricer. Taste and adjust any butter or salt if needed.
  4. Next get a 9×13 inch baking dish out. Line the dish with the leftover Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing. Top with the turkey and vegetable mixture, then lather on the mashed potatoes.
  5. Place the dish, uncovered, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove and serve.
  6. To serve, scoop out a serving and ladle on warm gravy. The end result is nothing short of comforting. It has everything you want in a great bite of food, and to me, I would be just happy serving this for my next Thanksgiving, it’s that good.

 

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