Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte

Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte

Don’t be intimidated by the “en cocotte” portion of the title. It’s just French for “cooked in a covered pot that you can also use for serving.” An alternative translation is: How to cook a really good turkey breast the lazy way; no overnight brine, no basting, nothing.

Take me to the recipe!

Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte
Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte

A quick note before we talk about the ins and out of this recipe: Anyone who knows me, understands how very much I hate the word “moist.” (I refer to is as “the ‘M’ word.”) Even saying it in my head feels wrong. I’m not alone here, I know, but I do feel that I have a particularly strong reaction, which made my search for the easiest turkey cooking method particularly grueling. Because it’s damn near impossible to read a blog post, watch a video, or see a cooking show about poultry without people shouting it from the rooftops.

But figuring out this recipe made it all worth it! And I promise you, this is the easiest route to not-dry turkey.

Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte
Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotteLemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte
Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte

I first learned about cooking “en cocotte” from an episode of Cook’s Country. They made “French Chicken in a Pot” and I wanted to try it with turkey. I’ve also wanted to make a version of the famous Greek Avgolemono Soup, which is broth thickened with a cooked grains and egg yolks, but soup isn’t always psychologically satisfying as a meal, you know?

Instead, I used the broth and egg yolks to thicken the grains instead of the other way around.

Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte
Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte
Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte

A couple of cooking notes:

  • After roasting the turkey, there should be about 1/4 of an inch of liquid at the bottom of the Dutch oven. If there isn’t, add another 1/4 cup of stock before cooking the couscous.

  • The only extra step in this recipe is to blend together some broth, egg yolks, and lemon juice to add to the cooked couscous. I really recommend using a blender EVEN THOUGH it’ll dirty another appliance. If you don’t get a really good emulsion of the liquids, you can end up with scrambled eggs rather than a rich, thick sauce over your couscous.

  • The oven temperature (275!) will seem very low and it is. But the Dutch Oven with a lid and an extra layer of foil really seals in the heat and moisture and cooks the turkey despite the low oven temperature. Our oven runs very hot, so I actually set it 10 degree lower.

  • The only downside to this cooking method is that the steam softens the turkey skin. If you like crispy skin, just strip it off and seer it on a really hot skillet to crisp it back up.

  • I love serving this with a quick tzatziki sauce.

Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte

Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte

1 bone-in turkey breast, about 2 ½ lbs
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small onion (or ½ of a large onion), chopped
4-5 extra large garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped 
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced (or 1 tsp dried)
1½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
4 cups low sodium chicken stock or water, divided
3 cups Israeli couscous  
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup lemon juice (juice of 2 large lemons)

Preheat the oven to 275.

In a large Dutch oven or oven safe pot with a lid, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Seer the turkey breast on the top, bottom, and both sides, adjusting the heat if the turkey browns too quickly or if the oil starts to spit uncomfortably. When browned all over (this should take about 10 minutes), remove to a plate.

Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the same Dutch oven and heat over a medium low flame for a few seconds. Saute the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the rosemary, smoked paprika, and salt. Cook for 1 minute more until fragrant.

Turn off the heat.

Add the turkey back to the pan. Cover the top of the Dutch oven tightly with a large piece of tin foil and then top with the lid.

Bake for 1 hour. Check the internal temperature of the turkey with a thermometer in the thickest part. When the thermometer reads 165, the turkey is done. If the turkey isn’t up to temperature yet, return it to the oven and check it every 5-10 minutes to avoid overcooking.

While the turkey is cooking, blend together 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 egg yolks, and 1/3 cup of lemon juice. Set aside.

When the turkey is done, remove the Dutch oven and carefully take off the tin foil from its top (watch the steam!). Remove the turkey to a plate or cutting board and cover tightly with the tin foil. Let rest.

Add 3 cups of stock to the turkey cooking juices in the Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Add the couscous, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the couscous has absorbed all of the stock. (Check after 4 minutes to make sure the couscous isn’t cooking too fast or sticking too much. If it is, turn down the heat.)

When the liquid is absorbed, add the broth/ egg yolk/ lemon juice combination. Stir it into the couscous and bring the mixture back to a boil. Once it boils, turn off the heat and stir a few more times.

Slice the turkey and serve with the couscous.

Yield: 5-6 large servings

Lemon and rosemary turkey and couscous en cocotte | Me & The Moose. This one-pot (ish) meal has a low and slow cooking time, but is mostly hands-off and a much faster way to make delicious turkey breast without brining or drying out the meat. #turkeyrecipe #roastturkey #onepotmeal #avgolemono #israelicouscous #dinner #easydinner #healthydinner #encocotte

Two-bite strawberry shortcakes

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The road to these stupidly easy strawberry shortcakes was long and winding.

I started obsessing about scones right around the royal wedding and thought, these would make a great base for a shortcake. Upon further research, I learned that "short" cake just means a cake with a high fat-to-flour ratio, like scones or biscuits. But I wondered, what's the difference between the two?

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Martha Stewart thinks they're basically the same, but many commenters found that suggestion insulting to both Brits and southerners. Food52 had a much more detailed description of the differences, but after reading I felt less inclined to use either traditional scones (too much butter) or traditional biscuits (too much technique) as my shortcake base. The only specific shortcake recipe I found that appealed to me was the classic from Bon Appetite, but it calls for two hard-boiled egg yolks and I'm generally too lazy for that.

See the tiny flecks of black? Those are the vanilla beans dispersed in the cream.

See the tiny flecks of black? Those are the vanilla beans dispersed in the cream.

Enter, the Never-fail Biscuit from King Arthur. These use no butter, so if you're looking for a butter-y flavor, these may not be your biscuits. However, they are so so easy and come together so fast. There's no resting or freezing or rolling or cutting, but you end up with a flaky, risen biscuit that is easily adapted into a sweet shortcake. 

And! These are tiny, two-bite shortcakes, so you get the taste of sweet summer fruit, without eating a huge dessert. I didn't healthify these thanks to the tiny portion size, but you could surely swap in gluten-free flour, full-fat coconut milk, and coconut sugar in this recipe with good results.

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A couple of notes:
- I made lots of changes because I wanted sweet biscuits and I didn't have self-rising flour, so I had to fiddle with the ratios of salt, flour, and baking powder a bit. In the end, I used less salt and less baking powder than the original recipe.
- I also added more sugar, a little more cream, and half of a vanilla bean instead of using an extract (though you could add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract instead. KA suggests using 1 tablespoon, but I felt like I could taste the alcohol of the extract a bit). 
- You want to really make sure these shortcakes are cooked. I don't know why, but I felt like I could taste raw flour before I cooked them for an extra minute or two. See notes in the recipe for some tricks to tell if they're really done.

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Two-bite strawberry shortcakes
 

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Scant ¼ tsp fine kosher salt
3 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup + 1 Tbsp heavy cream
½ vanilla bean, scraped and seeds added
1 Tbsp demarara or other coarse sugar for sprinkling on top
24 medium strawberries
1 cup whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 450.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Measure the heavy cream in a large measuring cup and add one extra tablespoon. Using a small sharp knife, cut the vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise. Scrape out the inside of the pod and add the brown seeds to the liquid. Whisk vigorously to disperse the vanilla beans.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, making sure to scoop out any vanilla beans on the bottom of the cream mixture. Mix just until the wet and dry ingredients come together and begin to look like a flaky dough. This is a dry-ish dough, but you should be able to form the mixture into a ball easily with your hands. If the dough is falling apart, add ½ of tablespoon of cream at a time and mix again with your hands. You want the dough just coming together without falling apart, but without becoming too wet.

When the dough is together, scoop off a small amount (about 1 tablespoon) and lightly roll into a ball with your hands. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops of each ball with demarara or other coarse sugar.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the tray once during baking. My best indication that the shortcakes are done was that the extra sugar on the tray (not on the shortcakes) had burned ever-so-slightly and the bottoms of the shortcakes were a dark caramel brown.

Yield: 24 mini shortcakes

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