Tips for a Scaled-Down Thanksgiving with 'America's Test Kitchen'

Daniel Hautzinger
One-Pan Turkey Breast and Stuffing from 'Cook's Country.'

Everyone has to adapt their holiday celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country can help you out with a simpler, smaller Thanksgiving meal: a one-pan dish that lets you cook both turkey breast and your stuffing without drying it out too much. Don't worry: even though the recipe dresses the turkey and stuffing with a brigh pomegranate sauce, you can still make gravy!

You can watch America's Test Kitchen's Julia Collin Davison prepare this dish in a virtual WTTW event from last month, available to stream on YouTube. While Collin Davison prepares the turkey, she and Jack Bishop also share previews of the upcoming season of America's Test Kitchen—filmed entirely in the cast's separate homes and premiering in January—their favorite Thanksgiving dishes, useful kitchen gadgets and tips, interesting information from months of quarantine, and more with host Brandis Friedman of WTTW News. 

For more helpful tips and demonstrations, you can watch America's Test Kitchen's boot camp from earlier this year; for more tips on how to make this unusual Thanksgiving still feel special (while being safe), here are ten suggestions.

One-Pan Turkey Breast and Stuffing with Pomegranate-Parsley Sauce

The salted turkey needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours before cooking. If you can’t find a loaf of ciabatta, you can substitute 2 pounds of another rustic, mild-tasting white bread.

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

Turkey:
1 1⁄2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme 1 (5- to 7-pound) bone-in turkey breast, trimmed

Stuffing:
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
1 3⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds ciabatta, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 20 cups)
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 1⁄2 cups coarsely chopped fresh parsley

Sauce:
3⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3⁄4 cup pomegranate seeds
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

1. For the Turkey: Combine salt, pepper, and thyme in bowl. Place turkey on large plate and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all over with salt mixture. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

2. For the Stuffing: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray large heavy-duty roasting pan with vegetable oil spray, then add oil to pan. Heat oil in roasting pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and cook until onion is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Off heat, stir in broth, wine, sage, thyme, pepper flakes, and remaining 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt, scraping up any browned bits. Add bread and, using tongs or your hands, toss until bread is evenly coated. Break sausage into  3/4-inch chunks and toss with bread mixture to combine.

4. Nestle turkey, skin side up, into stuffing in center of roasting pan. Roast until thickest part of turkey registers 160 degrees, 2 1⁄4 to 2 3/4 hours.

5. For the Sauce: Meanwhile, combine all ingredients in bowl; set aside.

6. Transfer turkey to carving board, skin side up, and let rest, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

7. Meanwhile, stir stuffing in roasting pan. Return pan to oven and cook until top of bread looks golden brown and is evenly dry, 10 to 15 minutes.

8. Remove breast meat from bone and slice thin crosswise. Toss parsley with stuffing in roasting pan. Arrange turkey over stuffing in pan. Drizzle with sauce. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.