Can I tell you a secret? I guess it’s not really a secret. I like fennel a lot. Please, don’t bail out here if you don’t, because I promise, you can make this with something different if fennel isn’t a flavor you fancy or you don’t care for it. But~give it a chance. Make your decision afterwards. Braising it in the butter and orange minimizes it’s pungent flavor to a very subtle hint. In the meantime, here’s what you’ll need on hand to prepare this fresh and flavor bursting dish; I’ll provide some options for you at the end so we can still be friends.

INGREDIENTS (click any photo to enlarge)

(I made this with 3 breasts; you can easily make more, or less)

3 turkey breasts (boneless skinless) sliced lengthwise not all the way through

1 large fennel bulb sliced

1 organic valencia orange

2 tsp unsalted organic butter (may substitute with bacon fat, coconut or olive oil)

a few slices of red onion (optional)

1 bunch organic cilantro

1/3 fresh medium pineapple in chunks or 3/4 1lb can pineapple drained

pink or sea salt

pepper (i like the tri color from trader joes in the grinder)

DIRECTIONS

Slice the breasts lengthwise but not all the way through so you can open them up like a book (you’ll be putting the fennel and onion inside and closing them up again to cook).

Season the inside of the breast with salt and pepper.

Slice the fennel while 2 tsp of butter are melting in a hot pan. Add the fennel to the melted butter and saute until softening slightly, about 2-3 minutes on a low-medium flame.

Squeeze the juice of 1 valencia orange on to the fennel and continue to cook until the fennel begins to lightly caramelize, about 5-7 minutes depending on how finely the fennel is cut. Let the fennel cool enough to handle.

Stuff the breasts with as much fennel as you like or will fit along with a few pieces of red onion (optional). It adds a nice sweetness once cooked along with pretty purple color.

Fold the breasts back to as close to their original shape as you can after stuffing.

I didn’t tie or tether them closed but you could with twine or a toothpick. I found my filling stayed inside nicely.

Turning the breasts with tongs was extremely helpful to maintain the integrity of the filling & keep it inside.

Into a hot, oiled skillet place the breasts to cook over a low-medium heat. Sear and Cook until the bottom layer is just beginning to turn white towards the middle, then flip with tongs. If you don’t own tongs, flip with a spatula, and use caution to not spill the contents.

Continue cooking on this side until JUST right~maybe even a tad UNDERdone and let rest to finish cooking.

*A meat thermometer might be handy, but no worries~just do not eat pink turkey. I used to cut in to my meat to visualize if it was done. Now I just know when to shut off the heat. Be sure your poultry is cooked. You’ll get the gist of when to turn off the heat once you cook breasts a few times I promise.

The addition of the pineapple chunks in the pan once the breasts are turned helps steam and cook the breasts perfectly.

While the turkey finishes cooking, blend the cilantro and pineapple in a small food processor. Chop/grind until pulverized.

The sauce will be sort of thick. I used a full bunch of organic cilantro with about 1/2 c fresh pineapple chunks and two lychee nuts.

*The lychee is a lovely addition but not necessary. I just happened to have some fresh ones on hand (they’re the light heart shaped things in the  photo on the plate with cilantro and pineapple @ 11 o’clock. The magenta skin has been peeled. You’ll see it’s shiny brown pit to the right.)

OPTIONS:

I promised you didn’t need to bail. If you don’t have fennel, won’t try fennel or want to prepare your stuffed breasts another way, try sauteed shiitake, crimini or portabello mushrooms with tomatoes (fresh or sundried) and thyme, sage or oregano. Add a little sheep milk feta, ricotta asiago, provolone or mozzarella cheese…mmm, beautiful. Lots of options. As the fall and winter months come upon us, you might even stuff the the turkey breasts with pumpkin, butternut, acorn or kombucha squash and season with some cinnamon, ginger, cloves or pumpkin pie spice! (there are ALWAYS options!) Feel free to comment or email me with your questions or creations!

Always EnJoY with Lots of LoVe

Dr Rona 🙂

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