Easy Turkey Recipe with Homemade Cranberry Sauce

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Try Turkey Cutlets for an Easy Christmas Dinner

Are you having just a few people in for Christmas dinner, and don't want to roast a whole bird? The traditional Christmas dinner that requires thawing, cleaning, stuffing and roasting a 12 to 25 pound bird, as well as preparing the various vegetable side dishes and dessert to go along with it may not be something you have the time or energy for. Increasingly in our family we have found ways to organize potluck group festive dinners, where friends or relatives get together to celebrate the season, with each guest bringing something to share. For example, the host may cook the turkey and make gravy while another mashes potatoes, others each bring a vegetable dish, or a vegetable or jellied salad, while others bring traditional Christmas cookies or the dessert you prefer--carrot pudding, pumpkin or mince pie, or shortbread.


Easy Christmas Dinner

Make Christmas dinner easy by inviting friends to bring something to share, and cook breaded turkey cutlets with homemade cranberry sauce.
Make Christmas dinner easy by inviting friends to bring something to share, and cook breaded turkey cutlets with homemade cranberry sauce. | Source

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Especially if you only have a few days off work over Christmas, you may be far more interested in resting than in speeding around with the shopping, cleaning, baking and cooking that goes into hosting a traditional Christmas party. If you are having just a small family party, or are cooking just for two, one easy Christmas dinner to cook is breaded turkey cutlets with homemade cranberry sauce.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce made with fresh or frozen cranberries is a traditional side dish with turkey dinner at thanksgiving or christmas in many North American homes.
Cranberry sauce made with fresh or frozen cranberries is a traditional side dish with turkey dinner at thanksgiving or christmas in many North American homes. | Source

Cranberry Bog

Ripe Cranberries float in a bog, ready to be scooped up my mechanical harvesters.
Ripe Cranberries float in a bog, ready to be scooped up my mechanical harvesters. | Source

Cranberry Harvest

Commercial cranberry harvesters scoop the floating berries where they float on the flooded bog.
Commercial cranberry harvesters scoop the floating berries where they float on the flooded bog. | Source

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberries grow wild in acidic swampy areas around the shores of many lakes in North America. Because they ripen in the fall and are best harvested after the first frost sweetens some of their tart or bitter flavour, they were one of the harvest foods that early European settlers enjoyed at the Thanksgiving feast. An excellent source of vitamins C, E and K, and manganese, they are still prized today as a side dish for turkey, accompanied by other fall harvest foods, including squash, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, potatoes, and corn.

As a child spending Thanksgiving long weekend at the family cottage in Muskoka, I remember canoing over to the cranberry bog on the far side of the icy, calm lake to harvest cranberries. We tied the hemp painter of our old cedar strip canoe to a the brush, and donning Wellington boots we picked the bright red berries until the jewelled globes filled the Allen's Apple Juice cans strung with wire handles that my Grampa had made for berry picking. Then we paddled home across the quiet water to the log cabin where the smoke curled up from the stone fireplace and the air smelled of humus, woodsmoke and roasting turkey.

Today areas in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia are cranberry farms under contract to Ocean Spray, and the farms flood the fields in fall and scoop the berries with machines. Cranberries are a major commercial crop in northeastern and northwestern United States, in Massachussetts and New Jersey as well as Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin; they are likewise important commercially in southeastern and southwestern Canada, in the eastern provinces of New Brunswick, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec, and in the west in British Columbia.

Breaded Turkey Cutlets: an Easy Turkey Recipe

Thinly sliced turkey cutlets, or scallopini, cook quickly and taste delicious breaded and served with homemade cranberry sauce.  Simplify Christmas dinner if you are cooking for a small group and don't want to roast the whole bird.
Thinly sliced turkey cutlets, or scallopini, cook quickly and taste delicious breaded and served with homemade cranberry sauce. Simplify Christmas dinner if you are cooking for a small group and don't want to roast the whole bird. | Source

Turkey Cutlets ready to Serve with Homemade Cranberry Sauce

After cooking for about five minutes each side, the cutlets are golden brown and tender, ready for homemade cranberry sauce and the side dishes you love for your easy Christmas dinner.
After cooking for about five minutes each side, the cutlets are golden brown and tender, ready for homemade cranberry sauce and the side dishes you love for your easy Christmas dinner. | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 12 min
Ready in: 22 min
Yields: Serves 2 to 4 people one cutlet each

Breaded Turkey Cutlets Recipe and Cranberry Sauce

  1. Rinse the cranberries, and add the cranberries, sugar and water to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes or so.
  2. While the cranberry sauce is simmering, prepare the turkey cutlets.
  3. Beat the egg in a shallow dish.
  4. Mix the bread crumbs, oregano, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, seasoning salt and pepper in a second shallow dish.
  5. Heat the frying pan on medium heat. Brush the pan lightly with butter to prevent sticking.
  6. Dredge each turkey cutlet in beaten egg first, then in the bread crumb mixture, coating it evenly and placing it in the pan.
  7. Cover the pan and cook the cutlets on medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes each side.
  8. Serve with homemade cranberry sauce.

Ingredients for Turkey Cutlets and Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 cup bread crumbs, 4 slices whole wheat if you are making your own crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper, to taste
  • 2-4 turkey scallopini or cutlets
  • 1 egg
  • a small knob butter, to grease the pan lightly
  • 2 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 -1 cup brown sugar, to taste

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Comments 7 comments

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

It sound delicious and I can't wait to make it soon with my mom. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

Prasetio


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago Author

Hope you enjoy it, Prasetio30. Can you get cranberries in Indonesia?


wilderness profile image

wilderness 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

We always have 20-30 for Christmas dinner and even more for Thanksgiving, but not all of my extended family is that fortunate. This will be forwarded to them (and kept in mind for other special occasions without the big crowd). It looks great.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

I do like your fresh cranberry sauce a lot! We never see them here, except frozen. I'd love to have them fresh. mmm Your cutlets are a wonderful idea for if and when there will be just the two of us, thank you.


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago Author

I never know where people can get cranberries. They grow wild in North America, and I always have some in my freezer. However, I know they may be hard to get in Europe--I remember in the film "Shadowlands," about C.S. Lewis, author of the chronicles of Narnia, and his relationship with Joy Gresham, an American, he asked his housekeeper to make Christmas dinner with "turkey and cranberries, and all the trimmings," as Joy's son had requested. For the housekeeper, the cranberries were unfamiliar, and she would oblige if he could source the cranberries--" If you find cranberries, I'll sauce them."

Thanks for the visit and comment, GoodLady. Ihope you are having a wonderful Christmas visit with your family.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I always make a feast for Christmas dinner but I do make turkey at other times of the year as well so I'll save your cutlets recipe for another time.

I've always made my cranberry sauce with white sugar. This year I'll try it with brown.


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago Author

I make everything with brown sugar! I don't even buy white sugar.

Enjoy your Christmas feast!!

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