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Turkey Breast With Southwestern Corn Bread Dressing

American in origin, this turkey entree makes a worthy centerpiece at any holiday meal. -- Bette McDevitt, free-lance food writer.

5 cups corn bread, coarsely crumbled
4 English muffins, coarsely crumbled
3 mild green chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped (I use dried red chilies)
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 pound Italian turkey sausage (I used links, casings removed)
3 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 to 4 tablespoons turkey broth or water
1 bone-In turkey breast, about 5 to 6 pounds
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Vegetable cooking spray

In a large bowl, combine corn bread, muffins, chilies, red pepper, pine nuts, cilantro, parsley, basil, thyme and oregano; set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute turkey sausage, celery and onion for 8 to 10 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Combine turkey sausage mixture with cornbread mixture. Add broth or water if mixture is too dry; set aside.

Loosen skin on both sides of turkey breast, being careful not to tear skin, leaving it connected at breast bone. Spread 1 tablespoon garlic under loosened skin over each breast half. Repeat procedure, spreading 1/4 cup cilantro over each breast half.

Place turkey in 13-by-9-by-2-inch roasting pan, lightly coated with vegetable cooking spray. Spoon half of stuffing mixture under breast cavity. Spoon remaining stuffing into a 2-quart casserole, lightly coated with vegetable cooking spray; set aside. Roast turkey breast, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 170 degrees in the deepest portion of the breast. Bake remaining stuffing, uncovered, along with turkey breast during last 45 minutes.

Makes 12 servings.

National Turkey Federation

Thursday, November 15, 2001

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