I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

They'll be no pardon for this bird

When my home office floor starts looking like this, you know it's holiday menu planning time. I always have the traditional favorites from years past and then I scour my recipe files for one or two new items to add every year. I never try to make too many new things for Thanksgiving because there's already so much going on in the kitchen anyway.

I prepared a small pre-Thanksgiving dinner this weekend for Charlotte friends and will travel home to Tennessee on Wednesday to see my family for "real" Thanksgiving. I had planned to prepare everything on Saturday, but my plans were thrown into a tailspin at 7am that morning when I found myself standing on the side of the interstate with two flat tires. It was an all day affair trying to deal with that and rest assured at the very top of my list of "Things To Be Thankful For" this year is good friends who are there in times of need.

With all the tire chaos, I never made it to the grocery store for the few needed things, so I went with Plan B and condensed the menu to use what I already had on hand. Since it was a small gathering, I went with a turkey breast instead of a whole bird and basted it with olive oil flavored with the zest of a lemon and orange. The skin crisped up really nice and the citrus flavor was subtle and complemented the apple and cranberries used in the dressing.

I've shared the bird recipe today and will continue to share the rest of my menu with you throughout the week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Citrus Roasted Turkey Breast
Serves 8

1 bone-in turkey breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
Zest from 1 lemon
Zest from 1 orange
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place turkey breast, skin side up, in a roasting pan. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and brush over turkey with a basting brush. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Let stand 15 minutes for easiest carving.

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