For two: Make a whole meal cooked in one pan

Wednesday November 14, 2012

A well-executed dinner for two can require as much planning as a feast for a crowd. Our intimate take on the traditional Thanksgiving -- to feed two instead of a large family -- is constructed so the entire meal is assembled and cooked together in one pan.

We make the stuffing from dinner rolls; use the same variety you buy to serve with the meal. We season the roasted vegetables and stuffing with a sage compound butter that also can be served at the table. The turkey tenderloin, though not as impressive as a full bird, gets a flavorful quick brine and a Parmesan crust. Best of all, you won’t have a mountain of dishes to clean up.

So why does our dinner for two make four servings? Because it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without leftovers.



Start to finish: 1 1/2

(45 minutes active)

Servings: 4

For the sage compound

2 tablespoons minced fresh sage

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

For the turkey:

1 1/2 pounds turkey tenderloin

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup apple cider

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 grated Parmesan cheese

For the stuffing:

4 dinner rolls, diced

1 small carrot, grated

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans, optional

1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth

Salt and ground black pepper

For the roasted vegetables:

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, diced

1 cup diced butternut squash

1 small red onion, cut into wedges

1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved

Salt and ground black pepper

For the gravy:

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Salt and ground black pepper

First, prepare the butter. In a small bowl, stir together the sage, butter and lemon zest. Set aside.

Second, brine the turkey while preparing the rest of the dinner. In a large zip-close plastic bag, combine the turkey tenderloin, soy sauce, maple syrup, cider and black pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to overnight).

Heat the oven to 400 F.

Next, make the stuffing. In a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, spread the diced dinner rolls in an even layer. Place in the oven to toast for 10 minutes.

Transfer the toasted diced dinner rolls to a medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the reserved sage butter so that it melts into the hot bread. Toss in the grated carrot, cranberries, pecans and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Coat the 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray, then spoon the stuffing into one half of the pan, arranging it in an even layer.

In the bowl that you made the stuffing, prepare the vegetables. Toss together the diced potatoes, squash, red onion and Brussels sprouts. Add 1 tablespoon more of the reserved sage butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss together, then spoon the vegetables into the other half of the prepared pan.

To finish preparing the turkey, in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate, stir together the panko and the Parmesan. Remove the turkey from the brine, discarding the brine. Dredge the turkey through the panko-Parmesan mixture, pressing it into the the meat. Place the turkey over the stuffing. Roast for 1 hour, or until the vegetables are browned and tender and the turkey reaches 160 F.

During the final 15 minutes of roasting, prepare the gravy. In a small saucepan over medium-high, heat the broth until boiling. In a small bowl, mix the butter and flour to form a paste. Whisk the butter mixture into the boiling broth, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened. Whisk in the balsamic vinegar and poultry seasoning, then season with salt and pepper.


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