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Pressed Herbs and Spices Turkey Breast, Pumpkin-Zucchini Muffin Stuffin' with Chipotle Gravy


  • 3 tablespoons grill seasoning (3 palmfuls), such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)

  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika (a palmful)

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (a palmful)

  • 4 tablespoons fresh thyme (8 sprigs), leaves stripped

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (2 handfuls) or 1/2 cup basil leaves

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley (4 handfuls), loosely packed

  • 1 cup natural pistachios, shelled

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for generous drizzling

  • 2 boneless halved turkey breasts (about 3 pounds each)

  • 1 stick butter, divided

  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf

  • 6 ribs celery from the heart, chopped with greens

  • 2-3 McIntosh apples, seeded and chopped

  • 2 medium onions, chopped, divided

  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 6 pumpkin muffins, crumbled

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning

  • 6 cups chicken stock, divided

  • 2 slightly rounded tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped, plus 2-3 tablespoons adobo sauce


Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.

Pre-heat a 14-inch skillet or medium size roasting pan over medium heat on your largest burner.

Mix the grill seasoning, cumin, paprika and coriander together. Place the thyme, cilantro or basil, parsley and pistachios in a food processor and process into a paste. Remove the bowl from the food processor and remove the blade from the bowl. Have a rubber spatula on hand. Drizzle EVOO generously over the turkey breasts to coat the skin. Loosen the skin of the turkey breasts with a small sharp knife. Divide the herb and nut paste between the flesh and skin on each breast. Use your hands to move the paste around under the skin to evenly distribute the mixture. Coat the EVOO-coated skin with the spice mixture. Set the coated turkey breasts into the large skillet or roasting pan.

Wash your hands after handling the raw poultry.

Set a second slightly smaller skillet or pan on top of the breasts and weight the pan down with a couple of bricks covered in foil. Crisp the skin for 8-10 minutes, then transfer the meat to the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165-170°F.

While the turkey roasts, heat a second large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat with 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces. To the melted butter, add the bay leaf, celery, apples, half of the onions and the zucchini. Season the vegetables liberally with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, or until softened.

Add the crumbled muffins and sunflower seeds to the pan and combine with the vegetables. Season the stuffing with poultry seasoning, then adjust the salt and pepper, to taste. Dampen the stuffing with 1 1/2-2 cups of stock. Pile the stuffing into a serving dish.

Place the stuffing in the oven to just crisp up the top along with turkey or, if the pan does not fit, when the turkey comes out, switch on the broiler and crisp the top of stuffing – it should only take a couple of minutes, tops.

In a saucepot, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat and add the remaining onions. Sweat the onions out for 5-6 minutes to make them nice and sweet. Add the flour to the skillet and whisk for 1 minute. Add in the chipotles and their sauce, then whisk in 4-4 1/2 cups chicken stock. Thicken the gravy for 2-3 minutes, then season with salt, to taste.

Let the turkey rest to distribute the juices, then thinly slice and serve with mounds of stuffing and gravy.