Paleo Turkey Breast with Shallot-Porcini Gravy
Why This Recipe Works
No turkey dinner is complete without a rich, hearty gravy. But most gravies are thickened with a mixture of butter and flour called a roux—not an option in the paleo world. We wanted to create a paleo-friendly, deeply flavorful turkey gravy, and while we were at it, we wanted a foolproof method for cooking moist, juicy turkey. To make the recipe more versatile, we opted to use a turkey breast instead of a whole bird. To ensure moist, tender meat, we turned to a French technique called cooking en cocotte, in which the bird is cooked covered over very low heat with no added liquid, essentially braising the meat in its own flavorful juices. With our turkey settled, we turned our attention to the gravy. Usually, we add the flavorful drippings from the turkey to a roux-thickened broth to make gravy, but without the roux, all we had was thin drippings—and the shallots and celery we had added to the pot to create a flavorful backbone for our turkey. Could we use the contents of the pot to our advantage? The answer was yes: While the turkey rested, we transferred the aromatics and the turkey drippings to a blender and pureed the mixture until it was smooth. This made a decent, thick gravy, but tasters wanted even more flavor. Adding porcini mushrooms to the pot gave the gravy earthy depth and improved its color, while tomato paste further boosted savory flavor.