Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

by Anne Papina on November 11, 2012

Turkey Roasted in White Wine with Pan Gravy
With fall being my favorite season, it’s only natural that Thanksgiving would be my favorite holiday, no? I’m not in it just for the food, I swear! But my family does put out an impressive spread. The turkey, of course, is the centerpiece of the meal. There will be garlic mashed potatoes, pan gravy, fresh rolls, and my favorite thing in the whole world, green dressing, or as we call it in Italian-American-speak, “ping.” It’s very similar to the “ping” we use to fill raviolis–a blend of spinach, fresh herbs, ground meat, and bread (when it’s getting stuffed in a bird). Any veggies gracing the table are likely there for show.

Food coma inevitably follows, along with the annual viewing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I look forward to this tradition every year.

Food Coma

You recognize that feeling, right? We’ve all been there.

As much as I enjoy the large soiree, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes Thanksgiving is an intimate gathering for two. Sure, you could always order take out, but why not indulge in a traditional meal, just on a smaller scale? Certainly nothing beats the aroma of roasted turkey wafting through the air. Not only will this meal satisfy your turkey-day cravings, it’s a meal that can be prepared any time of the year. For the main course, we’ll roast a half turkey breast in white wine, similar to my recipe for chicken roasted in white wine. On the side, we’ll kick up the stuffing a notch, and serve it muffin-style, along with some Blue Lake green beans sautéed with garlic slivers and a little crushed red pepper.  For dessert, my Mom’s Raw Apple Cake is super easy and perfect served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

While the theme here is dinner for two, depending on the size of the turkey breast, you could easily feed three, possibly four. Or keep it at two, and enjoy those leftover turkey sandwiches!  If you have a hankering for some homemade cranberry sauce, I highly recommend Saveur’s Cranberries with Ruby Port. It only takes a few minutes to prepare, and it’s something that you could whip up a day or two ahead.

Before we begin, let’s put on some Christmas Music. What’s that? Yes, it’s now Thanksgiving and OK to crank up the holiday tunes. That’s what I did. :)

Being organized is key to any dinner. Let’s start gathering ingredients.

raw turkey

Wash and dry the turkey breast before you begin.

turkey breast

Place turkey breast in  the roasting pan, add the wine and garlic, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Place in a 325F oven, and set the timer for 30 minutes.

stuffing ingredients

While the turkey is roasting, we’ll be able to prep the sides, then finish them up at the end. For this recipe, I started with Trader Joe’s Cornbread Stuffing Mix, and we’re going to doctor this up.  You’re welcome to use whichever brand you prefer. If using TJ’s, you’ll only need half the package for this recipe.

stuffing

Prepare per the package instructions for the stovetop method and set aside in a large bowl.

pancetta

Meanwhile, brown the pancetta, scoop out of the pan with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Reserve fat in pan.

onions and fennel

While the pancetta is browning, chop the fennel and onion.

sauteed onions and fennel

In the pancetta fat, sauté the fennel and onion until golden brown, then add the pecans and sauté a few minutes longer.

stuffing

Fold the fennel/onion mixture and the pancetta into the stuffing.

Cornbread Stuffin' Muffins with Fennel, Pancetta and Pecans

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the stuffing into greased muffin tins.  This ended up being two scoops–the first scoop I pressed into the bottom, then added the second scoop on top to form the muffin shape. You can cover this and set it aside until the turkey comes out of the oven.

turkey breast

Has the turkey timer gone off yet? If so, you want to flip that baby over, and put back in the oven for another 30 minutes.  When the timer goes off again, flip it right side up, and finish it off for another 20-30 minutes, until the temp reaches 165F.

Green Beans

We can also get the green beans ready. First,  you’ll need to wash them, then snap off the stems.

green beans

Boil the beans for about four minutes, then drain and set aside.

Turkey Breast Roasted in White Wine

Once the turkey is done, transfer it to a platter or carving board, then cover with foil and let it rest.  Crank the oven up to 350F, and put the Stuffin’ Muffins in for about 15-20 minutes.

green beans

Meanwhile, in a large pan, sauté the garlic slivers and crushed red pepper in the olive oil, until the garlic starts to cook. Add the green beans and toss until heated through.

Pan Gravy

The roasting pan can go straight to the burner. Strain the turkey drippings and return to the roasting pan. Mix 1/4 cup water with 2 tbsp Wondra flour, then whisk into the drippings over a low flame until the desired consistency is reached.

Turkey Roasted in White Wine with Pan Gravy

Roasted Turkey, Cornbread Stuffin' Muffins & Green Beans

Serve up a plate and enjoy!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Turkey Breast Roasted in White Wine with Pan Gravy
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This roasted turkey is easy to prepare and perfect for any time of the year.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
Turkey
  • 1 2½-3 lb half turkey breast, washed and dried
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
Pan Gravy
  • Pan drippings (should be about ¾ cup)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp Wondra flour
Instructions
Turkey
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Place turkey breast in roasting pan with white wine and garlic cloves.
  3. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven for 1½ hours, turning every 30 minutes.
  5. Remove turkey to platter or carving board, cover with foil, and let rest about 15 minutes.
Pan Gravy
  1. Strain pan drippings and return to roasting pan.
  2. Heat pan over medium heat on a burner.
  3. Stir the Wondra flour into the water, then whisk into the pan drippings.
  4. Simmer stirring continuously until desired consistency is reached.

 
5.0 from 2 reviews
Cornbread Stuffin' Muffins with Fennel, Pancetta & Pecans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This stuffing is filled with lots of good stuff--pancetta, fennel, pecans--served up in the shape of a muffin.
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 6 oz box cornbread stuffing mix (I used Trader Joe's), prepared
  • 2 oz pancetta, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped fennel
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare stuffing mix according to the stovetop method directions. Set aside in a large bowl.
  3. In a large frying pan, brown the pancetta until crispy. Scoop out using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. To the frying pan, add the fennel and onion, sauteing until golden brown. Add the pecans and saute a few minutes longer.
  5. Fold the fennel/onion mixture and the pancetta into the stuffing.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop into a greased, regular sized muffin tin. Each muffin should be about 2 scoops--press down the first scoop with the backside of the scooper, then add a second scoop on top to form the muffin shape.
  7. Bake about 15-20 minutes, until golden and crispy on top.

 
5.0 from 2 reviews
Blue Lake Green Beans with Slivered Garlic and Crushed Red Pepper
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
These green beans are crisp and sweet, with just a hint of spice. A perfect side for just about any dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • ½ lb Blue Lake green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil water in a large pot, add the beans, and cook for about 4 minutes, then drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan, add the garlic and crushed red pepper, and saute until the garlic slightly browns.
  3. Add the beans, tossing until heated through.

 

Hop on over to blogger friend Martin’s ENOFYLZ Wine Blog for Thanksgiving wine pairings.

Here are some additional Thanksgiving dinner for two menus for your enjoyment:

Note: I receive a modest commission for Amazon.com products linked here.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin D. Redmond November 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Wow…this is a great looking Turkey Day Dinner for 2! Thanks for the trackback to my Thanksgiving wine post!
Martin D. Redmond recently posted..Wine Words Demystified: ViscosityMy Profile

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Anne Papina November 12, 2012 at 7:39 am

Thanks! Happy to link back–you always have such great suggestions!

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@bluenotebacker November 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

Simply awesome, this will be served at my house any time I find a nice turkey breast like that at the grocery store! Yum
@bluenotebacker recently posted..I NaBlo Blew It!My Profile

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CJ November 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm

A wonderful dish, delicious!

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Tara Noland November 16, 2012 at 9:47 am

Absolutely yummy!! Congrats on getting on the top 9 too at DailyBuzz
Tara Noland recently posted..Steam Whistle Teriyaki Burger and Onion RingsMy Profile

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Anne Papina November 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Thanks! It’s always exciting when that happens!

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Foodiewife November 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

Wanna hear something strange? I don’t like stuffing. However, your version would work for me. The combo of flavors is different, and sounds delicious. I’m making TG dinner for four people, me included. This is a great idea to scale down the work!
PS: Yes, we did have the best cocktail party table at Foodbuzz! Glad you found me.

Reply

Anne Papina November 19, 2012 at 8:52 am

I think you’ll be pleased with this stuffing! It was so well received, now I need to make it for the real TG dinner, which our family will celebrate on Friday.

Reply

Megan November 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Thanks for linking to my Thanksgiving for Two post. Yours looks wonderful. I especially love the stuffing scooped into muffin cups.
Megan recently posted..Mango-Raspberry Breakfast CakeMy Profile

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Anne Papina November 19, 2012 at 8:55 am

You’re welcome! I’m always happy to link to related posts when I come across them. I really want to try those herb & cheese poppers yum!

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