Confit Turkey Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

Did you watch the 2013 season of Top Chef Masters?

If you did, then you probably remember chef Sang Yoon. Yep. The ketchup-hater.

Well, he owns two fabulous restaurants that are just a few minutes from our apartment.

Lukshon, an asian-fusion restaurant is one of my absolute favorites. It’s home to my favorite sparkling rose, luscious silky broths, and succulent spicy noodles. It’s my go-to place for a celebratory dinner or date night.

But realistically, we can be found more often at Father’s Office, Yoon’s casual, cooler, sister restaurant that serves up one of the best burgers in LA, thin and crispy fries, and a huge selection of craft beers.

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette and Figs

I almost always get the burger at Father’s Office (and yes, there’s no ketchup allowed, only aioli), but one time I went rogue and got the salad.

I know… a SALAD at a burger joint??

But this wasn’t just any salad. It was a duck confit salad over bitter greens with a delicate orange vinaigrette.

And omg it was so good, I ordered it again the next time we went to Father’s Office.

And then I got a little obsessed and tried to recreate it home.

Turkey Drumstick Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

I don’t know about you, but duck isn’t sold at my local Sprouts, so I swapped in a prehistoric looking whole turkey drumstick instead. It has the same vibe as a whole confited duck leg, and turkey legs are actually pretty cheap!

Next step? Figuring out how the heck to confit something.

P.S. if you don’t know how to pronounce confit, it’s “con-fee”

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette, Cashews, and Figs

The confiting process is actually relatively simple and hands-off.

You simply submerge your piece of meat (or veggies- garlic confit is super popular) in a pot of olive oil and slowly simmer for hours and hours until the meat is fall off the bone tender.

I like to finish the turkey with a quick high-heat cook in the oven to crisp up the skin, because let’s be honest, crispy skin is the best part of home cooked poultry, am I right?

But really, once the confit is in the oven, you can hang out and do something else for the afternoon while the meat simmers away, and it’ll be ready and waiting for you come dinner time.

Confited meats are super rich.

I mean, you DID just cook it entirely submerged in oil for hours 😉

So to balance it out, it’s perfect served atop a lightly dressed bed of bitter greens, with a fresh orange vinaigrette, crunchy salty nuts, and delightfully sweet dried figs.

Nom nom nom.

This meal is definitely a cooking project, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! You get to be creative and try a new cooking techqniue, AND totally impress yourself and your family with a restaurant quality salad with fancy confited meat 🙂

Turkey Confit Salad With Fresh Orange Vinaigrette

Confit Turkey Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 50 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Erica Julson

Ingredients

  • 4 whole turkey drumsticks
  • Sprinkle of kosher salt
  • Sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • 1.5 liters olive oil
  • Cloves from 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 1 shallot, halved and peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large head curly green leaf lettuce, leaves washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small head radicchio, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 16 dried figs, stem ends removed, each fig sliced into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews or macadamia nuts
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 small navel orange
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the turkey legs with kosher salt and pepper and place in a large enameled dutch oven. Nestle them in so that they are in one layer. Pour enough olive oil into the dutch oven to fully submerge the turkey legs (don't worry, you can save the oil for cooking later. It won't be wasted). It took about 1.5 liters to cover the turkey legs in my dutch oven.
  • Add the garlic cloves, shallot, and bay leaves to the pot. Put the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to barely a simmer. Turn off the heat, and put the unlidded pot in the oven. Let cook for 4 hours, or until the skin and flesh of the turkey has begun to pull away from the end of the leg bone and the meat is fall off the bone tender. Check on it periodically to make sure the oil is NOT boiling. If it is, turn down the heat so it is barely at a simmer.
  • When the turkey is done, remove the pot from the oven and set aside to cool. Use tongs to remove the turkey legs from the oil and place on a cooling rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place the baking sheet with the turkey legs in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the skin is nicely browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  • When the olive oil is cooled, fish out the garlic and shallot confit & store submerged in a bit of the oil for another use. Strain the rest of the oil into a tupperware and keep in the fridge for up to a month for all of your general purpose cooking needs.
  • While the turkey legs are browning, assemble the salad and make the dressing.
  • Place the lettuce and radicchio in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove pressed garlic, and Dijon mustard. Season with a little salt and pepper, and pour the dressing over the lettuce and radicchio. Toss to coat.
  • Divide the lettuce up onto 4 large plates. Top each plate with 1/4th each of the dried figs, cashews or macadamia nuts, and green onions. Place 1 turkey leg on top of each salad and enjoy!
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Turkey Meatloaf with Spinach and Kale

Kale and Spinach Turkey Meatloaf

So, what are your thoughts on meatloaf?

I feel like it can go one of two ways:

  1. You absolutely love it and it brings up fond memories of childhood dinners (with a heaping pile of mashed potatoes, of course).
  2. You loathe it with a passion and it reminds you of a big fat pile of mush (this probably depends on how great of cooks your parents were 😉 )

Kale and Spinach Turkey Meatloaf Smothered in Ketchup

I fall in the first camp, sort of.

I don’t think I really loved it as a kid, but now that I’ve tried tons of fancied-up adult versions, I’m a raving fan.

Thanks to lots of yummy add-ins like caramelized onions, fresh or dried herbs, sharp cheeses, and flavor bombs like tomato paste or sun dried tomatoes, meat loaf is suddenly elevated to a whole new level. It’s sophisticated, multi-layered, and dare I say it, worthy of company???

Shocker!

#meatloaf2016

 

Kale and Spinach Turkey Meatloaf - a healthy twist on an American classic!

One thing that meatloaf is great for is hiding vegetables.

Okay, so you don’t even NEED to hide vegetables, because they’re freaking delicious… but hey, if you’re going to bake a giant hunk of meat, you might as well up the nutrition factor by like 5000 by adding a bunch of veg.

The typical meatloaf has onions in it… and maybe some bell pepper, but that’s about it.

This meatloaf has two awesome upgrades:

  • It uses ground turkey instead of ground beef, which gives the meatloaf a lighter flavor that pairs well with greens.
  • It shockingly contains two full bags of kale & spinach (10 oz total) and a bunch of dried herbs. Winning! Tons of vitamins and minerals in a really palatable package.

These simple swaps mean tons of flavor and tons of nutrition.

 

Kale and Spinach Turkey Meatloaf With Ketchup

As you can see from the pics, each bite has a generous helping of greens.

The secret to helping them blend in with the texture of the meatloaf (and not stay stringy or globby) is to chop them up into relatively small pieces (maybe 3/4 inch) before cooking. Once they cook up, they become little pieces of greens that distribute easily throughout the loaf.

I also like to sauté the onions before stirring them into the loaf. It gives them some extra flavor, & by cooking them first, it leaches out the extra liquid to avoid soggy meatloaf syndrome. 😉

But hey, no matter how fancy I’m trying to get with the mix-ins, I can’t abandon the classic ketchup topping. It’s just so quintessentially 1950’s America. I can’t let it go.

And let’s be honest here, it’s one of the best parts of meatloaf.

 

Kale and Spinach Turkey Meatloaf Slices

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Turkey Meatloaf with Spinach and Kale

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Author: Erica Julson

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 5 oz baby spinach, chopped into roughly 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 oz baby kale, chopped into roughly 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 3/4 lb ground turkey
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup  chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup organic ketchup

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large nonstick skillet. Add the diced onions, dried parsley, dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper to the pan. Sauté over medium heat for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are softened and just starting to turn golden.
  • Add the baby kale, spinach, and garlic to the pan and sauté, stirring frequently, for 2 or 3 minutes, until just wilted. Remove from the heat and let cool until just slightly warm.
  • While the greens are cooling, prep the rest of the meatloaf. Add the ground turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, sun dried tomatoes, milk, parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to a large bowl. Add the cooled greens and onion mixture to the bowl and use your hands to thoroughly mix everything together.
  • Once the meatloaf is well mixed, take out a large 8x16 inch Pyrex baking dish and form two 4 inch by 8 inch meatloafs on each half of the dish. Spread 1/2 cup of organic ketchup on top of each loaf and place in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the center of the meatloaf reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the ketchup topping has developed a nice crust.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing. Enjoy!
  • P.S. the leftovers make GREAT meatloaf sandwiches 😉
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Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Turkey Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Throwing it back old school with this one.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been sick all 12 days of 2016 so far (although this feels like it’s probably the final day!!)

That means I’ve been sprawled on the couch, downing bottles of Robitussin, running through boxes of tissues like nobody’s business, and binge watching Netflix.

A non-functioning sense of smell/taste and absolutely no energy = no recipe development for me.

So, I’m recycling.

Today, I’m bringing you one of the most popular recipes from my old blog:

Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Extra large portobello mushroom caps stuffed with ground turkey and sautéed greens, smothered in marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, and broiled until bubbly and melty. Yum!

This is a great weeknight meal.

Delicious, nutritious, and ready in under an hour.

In order to prevent soggy-mushroom syndrome, you pre-cook all of components separately, then assemble and quickly broil before serving to brown and melt the cheese.

Each person gets a huge mushroom loaded with protein and veggies.

I find these types of meals hugely satisfying, and I think you will too!

Turkey Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 extra large portobello mushroom caps
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb frozen chopped spinach or kale
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 lb ground turkey
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 jar tomato-basil marinara sauce
  • 1 (8-oz) package shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Liberally drizzle a nonstick skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Warm over medium heat. Add the garlic and the spinach/kale. Cook for about 5 minutes until heated through. Remove the spinach to a bowl, toss with red wine vinegar, and set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and add the ground turkey, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, oregano, and onion powder. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up the turkey into small pieces, until the turkey is no longer pink. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Rub the mushrooms all over with extra virgin olive and season with salt and pepper. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the mushrooms on it and bake for 20 minutes in the oven until tender.
  • Remove the mushrooms. Add a base layer of spinach to each mushroom. Top with turkey, slather with marinara sauce, and top liberally with mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake the mushrooms for another 10 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and place in the broiler. Broil on high for just a few minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Enjoy right away.

 

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