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The first thing you need to know is that this is not a recipe to plan on whipping up after you race home from work on a weeknight. It is meant to be made at a more leisurely pace. I’d recommend poaching the turkey on Saturday, letting it marinate overnight and enjoying it for lunch on Sunday. If you are retired or you work at home, make it whenever you want!
Poached Turkey Breast Salad with Lemon, Capers, Cornichons and Mint is another “salad” from Patricia Wells’ Salad as a Meal. If you like the salty flavor of capers and all things pickled, you will love this recipe.
My first challenge was finding a turkey breast. I don’t know why the grocery store gods don’t stock turkey year-round. Some people actually like to eat it in months that don’t start with the letter “N” or “D.” Patricia says to use a boneless turkey breast, but the one I found, in a bag, that you put in the oven frozen, had a bone (even though the label said “boneless”). Sigh. It worked fine (after thawing), but required an 8-quart stockpot instead of the 6-quart size Patricia recommends.
Unable to make the Cornichons and Capers in Vinegar myself (recipes below), I used “French Recipe Cocktail Cornichons” and capers from a jar. If you can find 2-inch cucumbers and have a caper bush, by all means, go forth and pickle.
Calculating the nutritional information for this recipe was a bit tricky since a lot of the ingredients go into the poaching liquid, but you don’t actually consume them. The numbers below include the turkey and all of the marinade ingredients. This recipe is a good source of Protein, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Niacin and Selenium.
All nutritional information provided here was calculated by Diabetic Foodie using the tools on the nutritiondata.com website.
Poached Turkey Breast Salad with Lemon, Capers, Cornichons and Mint
- 1 boneless turkey breast about 4 pounds
- 1 large onion halved (do not peel) and stuck with 2 cloves
- 3 carrots chopped
- 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- A 1-inch knob of fresh ginger peeled
- 4 plump moist garlic cloves, peeled, halved, and green germ removed
- 6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- Grated zest of 2 lemons preferably organic
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon imported French mustard
- 6 small spring onions or scallions white part only, trimmed, peeled, and cut into very thin slices
- 12 Cornichons page 290, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Capers in Vinegar page 289, drained
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves cut into a chiffonade, for garnish
Place the turkey breast in the stockpot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Remove the turkey to a platter. Add the onion, carrots, bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, ginger, garlic, and vinegar to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Carefully lower the turkey into the pot, reduce the heat to a bare simmer, and poach, covered, for 1 1/4 hours.
Remove the pot from the heat and let the turkey cool in the liquid, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Drain the turkey and discard the poaching liquid and solids.
Prepare the marinade: In a bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, oil, and mustard. Stir in the spring onions, cornichons, and capers.
Place the turkey in a sturdy resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade into the bag. Seal the bag and turn it back and forth to coat the turkey. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
At serving time, remove the turkey from the bag, reserving the marinade, and place it on a cutting board. With a meat slicer or a very sharp chef’s knife, cut the turkey into paper- thin slices. Arrange the turkey slices on a platter. Moisten the turkey with the marinade. Garnish with the mint, and serve.
WINE SUGGESTION: I enjoy a lively Chenin Blanc here, such as the Vouvray from Domaine Huet.
Nutritional information includes turkey, cornichons and capers.
- 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
- 2 pounds 2-inch pickling cucumbers about 70
- 3 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 large fresh tarragon sprigs
- 4 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 8 small fresh or dried hot red peppers
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
In a large bowl, combine the salt and 1 quart of cold water. Stir to dissolve the salt. Add the cucumbers and let stand in a cool place for 6 hours.
Sterilize the canning jars, lids, and rings by scalding them with boiling water. Drain well.
Drain the cucumbers, discarding the salt water.
In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups of water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
Fill jars with layers of the drained cucumbers, the herbs and the spices, dividing the ingredients evenly between the jars. Pour the hot vinegar mixture into the jars, letting a bit of the liquid overflow the jars (this helps seal the lids well). Wipe the outside rim of each jar with a clean cloth, and seal with the lids and rings. Let stand until cool. Store in a cool, dry place for at least 3 weeks before opening the jars. (Once opened, store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.)
Capers in Vinegar
- Fresh caper buds or nasturtium buds
- Distilled white vinegar
Pick the caper buds when they are small and firm. Place them directly into a jar filled with distilled vinegar. The pickled buds can be used within 2 days. (Store the jar of pickled buds in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.)
Disclosure: For my participation in the Four Weeks of Salad as a Meal Challenge, I received a copy of Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells plus two copies to give away. This post contains at least one affiliate link, which means if you click it and make a purchase, I will receive a tiny fee. Please see my disclosures page for more information.