Thanksgiving is usually a time to gather with family and friends, but sometimes it’s nice to have a more intimate gathering with just your “better half”, or a few friends at home. Since Tatjana is working in London, and I just had a fabulous week in New York with mom – I decided to have a relaxed, quiet celebration this year with just a few close friends.
Cooking a whole turkey just doesn’t make sense for two or three people. I originally wrote this recipe for center cut pork chops (with cooking time adjusted accordingly), but realized it would be a great combination of flavors with turkey when I spotted the turkey tenders in my local grocery store.
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Perfect for smaller Thanksgiving celebrations, plus this recipe is a lighter, healthier alternative to the Thanksgiving classics.
4 cups water
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup apple juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Bartlett pears, peeled and cut into 1/2” chunks
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 pounds of turkey tenders
salt and pepper to taste
1). Bring water to boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add sweet potato chunks, cook until just fork tender but not mushy, about 12 – 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2). Meanwhile bring cider vinegar and apple juice to boil in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Reduce by half, boiling for about 15 – 20 minutes. Add syrup and mustard and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, whisk continually for 5 minutes. Add pear chunks, stir for two minutes, and reduce heat to low.
3). While cider vinegar and apple juice are reducing, mix flour, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and granulated garlic. Dredge the tenders, shaking off any excess flour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4). Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add turkey tenders and brown 4-5 minutes per side. Add sweet potatoes and cider vinegar mixture with pears to the pan, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until turkey tenders are just cooked through, an additional 8-10 minutes depending on thickness of the tenders. Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F. Serve hot with sweet potatoes and sauce spooned over the top.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with a green vegetable such as sautéed spinach.