Acadian-Fried Turkey Tenderloin Stuffed with Cornbread, Sausage, and Cranberries

Ingredients:
(Serves 4)
  • 2 Turkey tenderloin, 24 oz
  • 8 Toothpicks
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 Egg-whites separated from yolk
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp Onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Paprika 
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 box of Cornbread stuffing mix 
  • ¼ cup Celery stalk, diced small 
  • ½ cup Onion, 1 medium, diced small
  • ¼ cup Green bell pepper, diced small
  • ¼ cup Green onion, chopped thinly, green part only
  • ¼ cup Dried cranberries, chopped roughly
  • Andouille sausage chopped small
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning

Stuffing:
In a large heavy-bottom pot, sauté diced andouille sausage with half a stick of butter over medium-low heat until nicely caramelized. Add celery, onion, and bell pepper, and continue cooking over medium-low heat with the sausage and butter until they’re tender, which should take about 3 minutes. Then, stir in the chopped cranberries and cook for an additional minute. Afterward, add the chopped green onions and cook for one more minute. Follow the liquid measurement instructions on the cornbread stuffing box. (Note: Using chicken broth is recommended for enhanced flavor, even if you’re still using the flavor pouch from the stuffing mix.) Bring the sausage and vegetable mixture to a boil, then add the dried cornbread from the boxed stuffing mix. Turn off the heat and thoroughly mix the cornbread stuffing until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the stuffing from the pot and cool in the refrigerator.

Stuffed Turkey:
To prepare the stuffed turkey tenderloin, start by laying a sheet of parchment paper on a flat surface. Position one tenderloin in the center and cover it with another parchment sheet. Use the flat side of a meat mallet to gently pound the tenderloin, making it approximately 1/4-1/3 inch thick, being sure to flip it during the process without tearing the meat. Set this aside and repeat with the second tenderloin. Next, season the turkey with ½ tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, ensuring it’s evenly distributed across the surface. Place a quarter of the cooled cornbread stuffing lengthwise in the center of the tenderloin, leaving a 1-inch border around the flattened meat. Carefully fold the sides over the stuffing, then roll up from the bottom to encase the stuffing, keeping it as tight as possible. Repeat steps 1 to 4 with the second tenderloin. Afterward, tightly wrap both stuffed tenderloins in parchment paper and twist the ends to secure the roulades. Refrigerate the wrapped tenderloins for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. *Chef’s note: reserve the remaining stuffing in an ovenproof container for serving alongside the turkey tenderloins.

Deep Fry the Stuffed Turkey Tenderloins:
Take the turkey out of the fridge and unwrap it. Blot dry the tenderloins and keep them tight. Skewer the tenderloins diagonally with four toothpicks, about 1” apart along the seam, ensuring the stuffing stays inside. Preheat your deep-fryer to 325°F. In a stainless-steel bowl, whip the egg whites to very soft peaks, then add milk and stir briefly before setting the mixture aside. In a separate deep pan, combine baking powder, all-purpose flour, onion powder, paprika, and the last tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine and set the flour mixture aside. Carefully place one tenderloin at a time, seam side down, into the flour mixture on one end of the pan. Coat the top of the tenderloin with the flour mixture, making sure no raw meat is exposed. Dip the dusted tenderloin in the egg-white/milk mixture and back into the flour, repeating this step. Once the deep-fryer is ready, place the breaded tenderloin in the fryer basket and lower it into the oil. Deep-fry for 8-10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove the fried tenderloin, place it on a sheet pan with a cooling rack, and remove the toothpicks. Repeat the process with the other tenderloin. After resting for 5 minutes, transfer the turkey tenderloins to a cutting board and slice them into 4-6 pieces, preferably on the diagonal, for a stylish presentation. 

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