A Smaller, Yet Festive Thanksgiving Feast

Joan Gigliotti, Weavers Way Member

Photo by Joan Gigliotti


For the turkey:

  • 3-5 lb. boneless turkey breast with skin
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp. quality olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. each of fresh thyme, sage and rosemary, de-stemmed

For the vegetable trivet (a selection of vegetables for placing under turkey while braising):

  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and large diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut on an angle
  • 3 large celery stalks, diced
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 4 oz. shaved unsalted butter


  • 1 large Dutch oven or large roasting pan with sides
  • 1 large mixing bowl or sheet pan

Cider-Braised Turkey Breast with Brussels Sprouts And Sweet Potatoes


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. With netting on, place turkey breast in a large bowl or on a sheet tray. Thoroughly rub olive oil, herbs, salt and cracked pepper onto breast. Feel free to do this step two hours in advance and refrigerate, but bring turkey to room temperature prior to placing in the oven.
  3. Assemble vegetable trivet inside Dutch oven and add 1 cup apple cider.
  4. Place turkey breast on top of vegetable trivet, and add shredded butter to top of turkey. Roast without a lid for 20 minutes, then baste with juices. Cover with lid and continue cooking until internal temperature is 165°F, about 50 minutes.
  5. Remove turkey breast from the oven and let rest on a cutting board, preferably one with grooves to catch juices. Remove netting.
  6. While turkey is resting, strain juices from the vegetable trivet. Place liquid into a small saucepan, add 1 cup apple cider and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, continue to simmer for 20 minutes until liquid reduces to ¼ cup. If you prefer a thicker sauce try a cornstarch slurry at this point. I like to save the vegetables for much of it to utilize in plate presentation.

Sheet Tray Brussels Sprouts

  • 1-½ lb. Brussels sprouts cleaned, cut through core and halved lengthwise
  • 4 oz. pancetta, ¼ inch dice
  • ¼ cup quality olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. syrupy balsamic glace (Colavita)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place Brussels sprouts on a sheet tray. In a separate bowl, add pancetta, olive oil, kosher salt, and ground pepper, mix well and spread over tray with Brussels sprouts face down. Roast for 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle Brussels sprouts and pancetta with balsamic glace.

Sheet Tray Sweet Potatoes

  • 1-½ tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes cut into a ¼ inch wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mix the seasonings in a large bowl, add sweet potatoes, drizzle with good olive oil, mixing well to ensure all potatoes are completely coated. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until thickest part of potato wedges are easily pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.