For my first recipe post, I'm turning as promised to the Emily Post Cookbook (1951). Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, this recipe for Turkey with Truffle Sauce caught my eye, and I've copied it here as it first appeared in 1951 (with a few edits for the modern cook). I studied abroad in Italy during college, and at Thanksgiving my host mom, Renata, bought inch-thick slices of turkey (tacchino) breast and cooked them in a frying pan without seasoning. While it was a lovely attempt at American cuisine, it was undoubtedly the worst home-cooked meal I had in Italy. Perhaps if she had added the truffles, so popular and and so good in Italian cuisine, we would have had a masterpiece on our hands.
Turkey with Truffle Sauce
The truffles make this a more expensive dish, but is so delicious it's really worth it at the holidays. If black truffles are too expensive or unavailable, instead try adding a few drops of truffle oil or a light dash of truffle salt at a time at the same point in the recipe. Truffle salt or oil can be very strong, so start with a little and season to taste. Truffle salt or oil can also be added to meats, pastas, and eggs, among other dishes.
Time: 1 1/2 hours
Serves: 4 to 6
1/2 breast turkey and 1 other joint of a 15 lb. turkey
4 tbs. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 stick butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch carrots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups white wine (recommend an inexpensive California sauterne)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp. glacé de viande* (if available)
4 oz. black truffles
*Or chicken demi-glace, using less as it is a more concentrated version of glacé de viande. If you omit this ingredient, you may need to season more with your stock, wine, salt, and/or pepper to taste to achieve a similar depth of flavor.
Remove the skin and bones from the breast and second joint. Cut both into as many pieces as there are to be portions (4-6). Heat butter over medium high heat in a large skillet (that has a close-fitting lid). Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the pieces of turkey in the seasoned flour and brown them in the skillet. Add the onions and carrots and cook until the onions are golden, stirring as needed.
Add the wine, stock and glacé de viande. Bring to a boil, lower flame or heat to just simmering, and cover tightly. Move or turn the pieces of turkey every 15 minutes or so.
After 40 minutes, chop the truffles and add them to the skillet. Stir and continue simmering for 15 minutes longer, making a total simmering time of 55 minutes to 1 hour.
Serve with simple white rice cooked in chicken broth or a Parmesan risotto and sauteed spinach or Swiss chard.