Heads up: you need a couple of bricks covered in foil to press these breasts
- 3 tablespoons grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Seasoning by McCormick) 3 palm fulls
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin, a palm full
- 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika, a palm full
- 1 tablespoon coriander, a palm full
- 4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, 8 sprigs, stripped off stems
- Cilantro leaves, 2 handfuls or 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, 4 handfuls
- 1 cup shelled natural pistachios
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for generous drizzling
- 2 boneless halved turkey breasts, about 3 pounds each
- 1 stick butter, divided
- 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
- 6 ribs celery from the heart, shopped with greens
- 2 to 3 McIntosh apples, seeded and chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped, divided
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 6 pumpkin muffins, crumbled
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
- 6 cups chicken stock, divided
- 2 slightly rounded tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped, plus 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls adobo sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Preheat a 14-inch skillet or medium roasting pan over medium heat on your largest burner. Mix grill seasoning, cumin, paprika and coriander together. Place the thyme, cilantro or basil, parsley and pistachios in the food processor and process into a paste. Remove bowl from processor and remove blade from bowl. Have a rubber spatula on hand. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil generously over the breasts to coat the skin. Loosen skin of the breasts with a small sharp knife. Divide the herb and nut paste between the flesh and skin on each breast. Use your hands to move the paste around under the skin to evenly distribute the mixture. Coat the extra-virgin olive oil coated skin with the spice mixture. Set the coated breasts into the large skillet or roasting pan. Wash hands. Set a second slightly smaller skillet or pan on top of the breasts and weight down with a couple of bricks covered in foil. Crisp the skin 8 to 10 minutes then transfer meat to oven and roast 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 to 170 degrees F.
While turkey roasts, heat a second large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat with 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces. To melted butter, add bay, celery, apple, 1/2 of the onion and zucchini. Season the vegetables liberally with salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes or until softened. Add crumbled muffins and sunflower seeds to the pan and combine with the vegetables. Season the stuffing with poultry seasoning then adjust salt and pepper. Dampen the stuffing with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of stock. Pile the stuffing into a serving dish. Place in oven to just crisp up the top along with turkey or, if the pan does not fit, when the turkey comes out, switch on the broiler and crisp the top of stuffing - it should only take a couple of minutes, tops.
In a sauce pot, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat and add the finely chopped remaining 1/2 of the onion. Sweat the onion out 5 to 6 minutes to make it nice and sweet. Add the flour to the skillet and whisk 1 minute. Add in the chipotles and their sauce then whisk in 4 to 4 1/2 cups chicken stock. Thicken the gravy 2 to 3 minutes then season with salt, to taste.
Let turkey rest to distribute juices then thinly slice and serve with mounds of stuffing and gravy.
Tidbit: An ice cream scoop is an easy way to portion out stuffing on dinner plates.