This Thanksgiving, you can have your (cup)cake and eat it too! These savory turkey cupcakes can be made with a turkey tender for the big feast, or with your turkey leftovers later in the weekend.
1 medium butternut squash (or acorn or kabocha)
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
Salt and pepper
1 pound uncooked turkey tender, or 2 cups fully cooked leftover dark and light meat, torn into pieces
3 green onions, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1/3 cup rustic bread crumbs or panko
2 tablespoons sour cream
zest of 1 orange
6 sage leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cupcake liners
Preheat oven to 425°F
Slice squash in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and place cut side down on a sheet pan drizzled with oil. Roast for 1¼ hours, or until squash begins to brown and caramelize.
Remove from oven, scoop flesh from skin and whisk in a bowl with butter, a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of salt until smooth. Reserve.
If using an uncooked turkey tender, slice out the white tendon, then roughly cut the tender cut into 1-inch pieces.
To a food processor, add turkey, eggs, green onions, celery, bread crumbs, sour cream, zest, sage, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Pulse several times, or until coarsely chopped and well blended. If you don’t have a food processor, chop ingredients finer than indicated and blend in a bowl. Reserve. At this point turkey mixture can be refrigerated for up to a day.
to finish and serve
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Line a muffin tin with 6 paper liners. Spoon turkey mixture into liners. Gently press down and create a dome that rises slightly above the lip of the pan.
Just before baking, reheat squash by covering the bowl with aluminum foil and placing it over a pot of boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes.
For cupcakes made with uncooked turkey tenders, bake for 12 minutes, or until cakes are fully set, yet still moist. For cupcakes made with fully cooked turkey leftovers, bake for 8 minutes, or until cakes are fully set, yet still moist.
Use a piping bag with a star tip, or a table knife to ice the cupcakes.
yield 6 servings
uncommon goods Cupcake liners; muffin tin (not uncommon, but crucial); piping bag with a star tip (ideal, but not necessary)
level of difficulty About the same as making cupcakes from scratch.
active prep time 1 hour Cooking time 15 minutes
advance work The turkey mixture can be prepared earlier in the day, to the point that the cakes are ready to be baked. Bake and ice just before serving; Squash can be made earlier in the day then reheated over a double boiler just before serving.
liquid assets A Cru Beaujolais, sometimes considered the poor man’s Burgundy, is a lively match worthy of giving thanks.