Fig-Glazed Turkey Breast With Tuscan Beans

Okay so this might not look like much, but man was it delicious, easy, affordable, versatile, etc.  The turkey is miraculously moist, the white beans are swimming in a fruity, herby, poultry-drippings-rich sauce that just begs for a good hunk of bread, and the whole thing was made in less than an hour and then left on the gimbaled stove while we beat upwind into 18 knots for an hour to work up an appetite.  And a whole turkey breast is one of the cheaper meats you can buy at the grocery these days … feeding a hungry crew for several meals.  With all that, who needs looks?  This post has a great personality….

Fig-Glazed Turkey Breast With Tuscan Beans

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Bone-in whole turkey breast, to fit your pressure cooker
2 tablespoons butter
4 shallots
1 medium onion
3/4 cup fig preserves
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
6 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 2-3 oranges (1-1/4 cups or so)
Salt and pepper
2 cans cannellini beans

I admit I was copycatting Pirate Caroline in a couple of ways on this post.  Ever since her Thanksgiving victory with cooking a turkey breast in her pressure cooker, I’d wanted to try.  And her sandwich last week with the fig spread reminded me I had a jar and no particular plan for it, so … let’s stay with a fig spread theme for a couple of weeks.  So, right off the bat I thought I had Caroline beat — my turkey breast, bought in the frozen section of Walmart, was just lovely.  Didn’t remotely look like a chainsaw had done the bird in!  Unwrap your turkey breast, remove any giblets, and make sure it’s thoroughly defrosted.  Pat it dry inside and out with paper towels, and salt and pepper inside and out.  Heat the butter in your pressure cooker until bubbling and then brown the turkey breast for about 5 minutes on each side.  Remove the turkey breast from the cooker and set aside.Note that, while handling an enormous chunk of meat, you are almost certainly going to acquire a longing audience.Finely chop your shallots and onions and saute them in the butter and drippings in the pressure cooker.  Mince your fresh rosemary — in a pinch you can substitute 1-1/2 or so teaspoons of dried rosemary, crushed, but fresh grows like bushes in so many climates…go find some!This is the fig spread I used — someone gave it to us as part of a Christmas basket.  I had used a bit to make a quite spectacular pizza (not unlike Caroline’s sandwich from last week, but all spread on a pizza crust using the fig spread as the “sauce”), but still had a little over 3/4 cup left.Mix the minced rosemary, fig preserves, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, Worcestershire, and  orange juice, whisking together as best you can.  You should have about 1-1/2 cups or so of liquid.  I also added ground cardamom on a whim, to give things a more exotic taste; it went so well with the fig and rosemary flavors that I highly recommend it unless you dislike the spice.Return the turkey breast to the cooker, skin-side up, on top of the onions, and pour the sauce over the top.  Seal up your pressure cooker, bring it up to full/high pressure, and maintain for 40 minutes — it takes a little practice to determine what level of flame to use to keep it at pressure!  Mine has a little valve on top with a red line that appears on the valve stem when you’ve built up enough pressure; I’ve gotten used to tweaking the flame to keep that red line in sight.  After 40 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the pressure cooker sealed for at least 10 minutes to let the pressure naturally drop.  This is a great time to go for a vigorous sail.When you are ready to open the pressure cooker, do so carefully and in keeping with your model!  Mine has this idiot-proof ability to press down on the little valve on top to release any residual pressure.  Then the pot opens easily — no having to dead-lift it like Caroline does.  Drain your beans — I find the easiest way to do this is to use the old fashioned “church key” type can opener, puncture two holes opposite each other on the top of each can, and then just sit the cans upside down in the sink while you’re doing everything else.  You can even get a bit of water in there to rinse them a little.  Of course, you can break out a colander and have to wash it later…I’m anti-dish-dirtying if I can help it.Remove the turkey breast from the cooker and set aside, tented with foil to keep warm.  Add the beans to the remaining sauce and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until sauce cooks down a bit and beans are heated through.

Here’s where you get to laugh at me and appreciate the instruction in the recipe list at top: get a turkey breast that fits your pressure cooker.  Mine was … a challenge.  I could barely wedge it in — to brown each side I had to actually shimmy it in there with both hands.  But hot out of the pressure there was no way I could put my hands around it — I had to break out Captain Peter’s Neanderthalic grill implements to jack that thing out of there….  Which is, of course, where “Chainsaw Caroline” got her revenge — mine ended up looking like hers did at the start.  Nothing a whole bunch of parsley can’t mostly kind of disguise!  Or … just carve it up quickly and serve in bowls over the beans with a good crusty bread.  Anyone complains about the looks…keelhaul ’em.

Fig-Glazed Turkey Breast With Tuscan Beans


Course: Main Course
Servings: 8 people
Ingredients
  • 1 bone-in, whole turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 shallots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3/4 cup fig preserves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tabelspoons sherry vinegar
  • 6 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 oranges juiced (about 1-1/4 cups juice)
  • 2 cans cannelini or other large white beans, rinsed and drained
Instructions
  1. Rinse turkey breast and pat dry; salt and pepper inside and out.  Melt butter in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat and brown turkey breast, about 5 minutes per side.  Remove turkey breast and set aside.

  2. Brown shallots and onions in remaining butter and drippings in pot.  Return turkey breast, skin side up, on top of onions.  Mix all remaining ingredients other than beans and pour over turkey breast.  Seal pressure cooker and bring to full/high pressure; cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to remain sealed for at least 10 minutes to let pressure dissipate naturally.

  3. Open pressure cooker and remove turkey breast; set aside tented with foil to keep warm.  Add beans to juices in pot and heat over medium-high heat to reduce juices and heat beans through.  Carve turkey breast and serve with a spoonful of beans and crusty bread for dipping.

Galley Cooking Recommendations

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