Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Breast with Homestyle Cornbread Stuffing

One of my personal favorites from Trader Joe's is the Turkey Breast with Homestyle Cornbread Stuffing, a large package of cooked turkey and stuffing that is only offered during the holiday season.   It's also one of only a few items that I can honestly say that every single person I know (who has tried it), will agree to its great quality.

I first bought the Trader Joe's Turkey Breast with Homestyle Cornbread Stuffing about two years ago, when it was priced at $9.99. This year, we went to stock up on several of these dinners, and noticed the price had gone up to $11.99. Although the price has increased, I still believe it's a great deal. Especially when you consider the convenience it offers, and the fact that three turkey dinners of equal quality at a restaurant would cost more than three times as much.

The package consists of a large turkey breast (enough to feed three), surrounded by cornbread stuffing. The dinners cook well in the oven (although there are instructions for microwaving, which I suggest avoiding at all costs with this item!) We noticed the package has improved a bit, and the extra $2 seems to have been put into adding cornbread stuffing, which frankly the dinner needed since it used to only have enough for 2 small servings. The stuffing now has enough for a moderate sized serving for three adults, matching the size of the turkey breast perfectly. With the addition of a couple of other sides (cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, vegetables of any sort), this dish could comfortably feed a family of four (five if small children are included).

Considering the fact that my family purchases about 10 of these each holiday season to keep in the freezer through the year, I think where we stand on this item is obvious. When I first purchased this item, I had little faith that a reheated turkey breast and cornbread stuffing could be all that tasty. However, none of my concerns were met. The cornbread stuffing crisps up nicely on the top, and the bottom of it never becomes soggy. The turkey breast itself is more moist than I could have even hoped for, and has a lovely, subtle brined taste to it, with no overwhelming spice or seasoning.

The only times we had an issue cooking one of these dinners is when we followed the microwave instructions, and another time when we did not follow the suggestion to thaw the dinner in the fridge beforehand. I highly suggest avoiding both of these other options, and sticking to the thaw for a day or two, then cook in the oven method. When using the other two methods, the cornbread stuffing was overcooked and clumped together, and the turkey became extremely dry and had a tough exterior.

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