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Simple Cooking - Braised Turkey with Fennel

By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 30, 2010 3:30PM

During this season, we obsess over farmers markets, fresh produce and light healthy meals, but even in the middle of high summer we need a little comfort food. This meal is a light version of Thanksgiving dinner with all the flavors from the stuffing wrapped up in the broth, but without the carbs and the long sleep afterward. Turkey, in our opinion, is an under-used meat, and turkey breast is one of the cheapest animal proteins around. We like it better than chicken - it has more flavor.

This recipe can be made for as many people as you like. Just fill up your largest baking dish and double or triple the recipe. Remember to increase the cooking time accordingly and use a meat thermometer to ensure thorough cooking. Aim for about 165 degrees.

Braised Turkey with Fennel

1.5 pounds turkey breast, in 3 large pieces.
2 strips of Bacon, chopped
1 cup fennel bulb, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 cups chicken stock mixed with 1 cup water

In a large, heavy pan, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to a small bowl. Brown the turkey breast pieces in the bacon fat for 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the turkey breast and put it in a large oven-proof baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Saute vegetables in the same pan for 5-6 minutes, adding oil if necessary. Arrange the vegetables around the turkey breast in the casserole. In a small saucepan, heat the stock to boiling. Add it to the casserole, top with bacon and put the whole mess into the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Serve in soup plates, with turkey, veggies and broth.

This meal keeps incredibly well, and the broth (which is savory and delicious) will freeze.