It’s not just for Thanksgiving any more. According to the National Turkey Federation, American’s consumption of the bird nearly doubled in the past 25 years. In 2010, per-capita consumption was 16.4 pounds, compared with 8.3 pounds in 1975. Convenience and nutrition surely play a role in turkey’s popularity.
Turkey is an excellent source of protein as well as vitamin B12, iron and zinc. And compared with other meat choices, turkey is extremely low in fat. A 3-ounce serving of skinless turkey breast supplies just 3 grams of total fat and less than half a gram of artery-clogging saturated fat.
Today’s recipe features turkey cutlets and was created as a healthy alternative to one of my husband’s favorite dishes. Fondly called Chicken Imperial, the original recipe involves slathering chicken parts, including the skin, with a hefty dose of butter. Then the chicken is generously coated with a mixture of crushed buttery crackers, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt.
Our Heart Smart version uses skinless turkey cutlets dipped in low-fat buttermilk and coated with reduced-fat cracker crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and a bit of salt. One note of caution: When preparing turkey, watch carefully to avoid overcooking. Turkey, especially breast meat, is so lean it tends to dry out quickly.
Heart Smart is a registered trademark of the Edith and Benson Ford Heart Vascular Institute. For questions, call 313-972-1920, 9-4 p.m. weekdays.