Turkey Wellington: A Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner With a Twist

For this year’s Thanksgiving dinner recipe, we’re handing over the blog to our good friend Karista Bennett, whose latest collection of recipes and photographs, The Oregon Farm Table Cookbook, is a bestseller on Amazon. We asked Karista to think of something new and delicious for the Holidays that would pair with a range of wines from our Oakville Chardonnay to our 2015 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir…and the result is an amazing take on a classic Thanksgiving dinner…

I’ve come to realize, there are two turkey camps in my family. Those who love a roast turkey for Thanksgiving dinner and those who will always ask if we can part with tradition and have something different.

Each year around the first of October, my family begins the long and sometimes passionate holiday dinner discussion, about you guessed it, turkey. This discussion typically commences with a subtle question about a possible new entree, or commentary on the merits of traditional and non-traditional holiday meals.

Consequently, preparing a holiday meal that delights every family member’s palate has become somewhat of a challenge. Aren’t they so lucky that I love a good challenge?

Now, I’m not actually in either turkey camp. Sometimes I love a juicy roasted turkey with all the complimentary side dishes. And other times, I crave something a little different but also mixed with a bit of tradition.

A Thanksgiving Dinner table set with Turkey Wellington and Cultivar Oakville Chardonnay

That’s why this Holiday Turkey Wellington with Gravy checks all the boxes. The turkey breast is butterflied and layered with creamy, tangy Brie and a homemade cranberry-orange relish that’s been spiked with the seductive flavor of Cultivar Pinot Noir. Then it’s wrapped in prosciutto, tied with kitchen twine, and par-cooked.

Once it’s cooled, it’s topped with herb and garlic sauteed mushrooms and breadcrumbs, wrapped in puff pastry, and baked until it’s golden brown. It makes a gorgeous presentation and is sublimely delicious when served with a simple turkey gravy.

Side Dishes and Wine Pairings

This impressive Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner recipe can be paired with a shaved Brussels sprout salad, sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes, or whatever side dishes make your food heart happy. I’ve also created this lovely recipe to pair specifically with Cultivar Oakville Chardonnay and 2015 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. As well, it’s also divine when served with Cultivar Muscat. The slight sweetness of the Muscat compliments the hearty, savory flavors of the recipe.

It’s the perfect time of year to enchant your guests and make your holidays deliciously memorable with Turkey Wellington and Cultivar Wine!

Thanksgiving dinner wines from Cultivar Wine on a table with fall leaves

Turkey Wellington with Gravy

Serves 4

Ingredients

Cranberry-Orange Relish
Turkey Gravy

 

Directions

To prepare the relish, stir cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, Cultivar Pinot Noir, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture has slightly thickened. The relish will thicken as it cools. This can be prepared a day in advance. Store in a jar or container with a lid for up to five days.

To prepare the turkey, preheat the oven to 375F.

Place the turkey breast on a large cutting board. To butterfly the breast, with a sharp knife, slice into the thickest portion of the breast and cut down the length (the side) of the breast, but not all the way through, about ¾ of the way through. You should be able to unfold the turkey breast like a book.

At this point, if the breast is thick, using a meat mallet, pound out both sides a bit until they are even in thickness. Brush the inside and outside of the breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place brie slices on one half of the inside of the turkey breast and the cover with several tablespoons of cranberry relish. Then fold the top over onto the bottom, closing it like a book.

Then place prosciutto slices over the top of the turkey breast. It will usually hold 4-6 slices of prosciutto. If the prosciutto is thin and tears, that’s ok, just continue to layer the prosciutto over the breast, tucking the prosciutto under the breast as needed.

Turkey wrapped in prosciutto for Turkey Wellington

Then with 4 – 5 strands of kitchen twine, tie up the turkey breast and gently place it onto a baking sheet. Don’t tie the breast too tight. Just enough to keep it secure.

Gently transfer the turkey breast to a baking sheet and put it into the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. The turkey will be par-cooked and needs to cool for about 10-15 minutes. Once cool enough, cut the twine off the turkey.

While the turkey is cooling, make the mushroom mixture. In a skillet, add olive oil and cook shallots just until they are soft. Then add the mushrooms and fresh herbs. Let the mushrooms cook until soft and wilted and have released some of their liquid.

Stir in the garlic and cook a few minutes longer. Then stir in the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper.

When ready, set the oven temperature to 400F.

Place one sheet of puff pastry on a flat lightly floured surface. Roll it out a bit lengthwise, about 1-inch. Most puff pastry is about 10×15 inches. I roll the pastry out to about 11×16 or 17. Then do the same with the second piece of puff pastry.

Place one sheet of prepared puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then place the par-cooked turkey breast in the center of the puff pastry.

A Turkey Wellington covered in mushrooms and prosciutto

Top the turkey breast with the mushroom mixture, patting it securely into place. Some of the mushroom mixture will tumble off but just put it back on and continue patting it gently until it sticks. This doesn’t need to be perfect!

Then place the second sheet of puff pastry over the top of the mushroom topped turkey breast. It will lay over the turkey breast like a blanket. Press the edges of both sheets of pastry together to seal. Cut off the extra pastry and set aside, and then roll the sides of the pastry, pressing down or pinching a bit to keep it sealed.

A Turkey Wellington, wrapped in puff pastry, ready for the oven

Score the top of the pastry and use the discarded bits of pastry to make any decorations that you like. I used a small 1-inch fall leaf cookie cutter to make leaves for my Wellington. Use the egg wash to attach your pastry decorations.

Then brush the egg wash over the puff pastry and sprinkle with a little coarse salt, kosher salt, or sea salt.

Put the baking pan in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. The turkey is done when the pastry is a deep golden brown or meat thermometer reads 160F. Remove it from the oven and let it rest.

A freshly baked Turkey Wellington for Thanksgiving

To make the gravy, add the butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is melted and hot sprinkle in flour and whisk. As you whisk, slowly add the broth, and continue to simmer until the gravy has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve your delicious Thanksgiving Dinner, slice the Turkey Wellington and place it on a platter. Drizzle with a little gravy and then serve. Serve the extra gravy on the side, and of course Cultivar Wine!

NOTE: This recipe has several steps, but it’s worth the effort. If time is of the essence, store-bought cranberry relish or jam can be purchased. The relish and mushrooms can be prepared a day in advance and held in the refrigerator.