Moist and tender. Pan seared and basted with butter, and you have a serious taste. Easy to follow step by step photo instructions.
Editor’s Note: Originally Published June 29, 2012. Now updated with expanded and improved text and buffed up photos.
Do you ever want turkey and gravy? Just a little turkey but no big production. Well, those turkey tenderloins that you walk by all the time is your answer.
There seem to be very few instructions for cooking turkey tenderloin. They have no skin and are a long triangular piece of very lean breast meat. From the processor, they already have been injected so no brining here.
I wanted a buttery taste and gravy (the nectar of the gods.). I started with some pepper then pan seared in some butter and finished in the over with more butter during the roasting.
A solid 4. Close to a 5 with the gravy but I have a hard time giving that rating to meat that was pre-injected.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes On Butter Turkey Tenderloin
The Turkey Tenderloin
The turkey tenderloins are a very tender long strip that is somewhat triangular muscle under the main part of the turkey breast. You have seen a slice of it when you slice a turkey breast, and there is the inside part that tends to separate some.
Because the tenderloin is an underused muscle, it is very tender. Like other tenderloins, chicken, pork, and beef, it can be fork tender and an enjoyable cut of meat.
Cooking Technique – Pan Seared, Oven Roasted
This is always one of my favorite methods of cooking thing. We can take a relatively bland food, usually meat, and though something called the Maillard reaction creates great flavor.
First, we sear the meat, this can easily be done on a stovetop. But most cuts of meat will be too thick to cook fully on the stovetop without your nice sear going from a tasty Maillard reaction to burnt. So into the oven to finish the cooking.
The Butter vs. Oil
Butter can smoke if overheated. I don’t seem to have a problem with that, but some people do. You can use vegetable oil if you have that issue.
Due to the flavors, the butter adds, I prefer butter in this recipe.
When is it done?
This is the easiest question. 165 degrees internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat.
Always cook to a final internal temperature for recipes like this and never by time. I give times just as a general guideline for meal planning.
There will be oil left in the pan after cooking along with some great taste. I suggest a slurry method for making the gravy. See How To Make Gravy at Home for more details.
Preheat oven to 375 convection. Trim, and pat dry about 1-1 1/2 pounds of turkey tenderloin.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat. Add pepper the tenderloin. You can salt lightly if you wish but remember, it has been injected.
Sear the tenderloin. Start with good side up. 3 minutes. Flip. 3 minutes. Get to approximately the final color you want.
Microwave 2 tablespoon butter in a microwave on high for about 20 sec. to melt. Bush with butter and place in oven. After about 10 minutes, baste again with butter.
Bake until the temp of 165. About 20-25 minutes total oven time. Remove from pan and tent with foil on a plate while making gravy.
Add turkey or chicken stock to the pan ( here a couple of cups). Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil.
Thicken with a mixture of flour and cold water. Here about 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water in a Tupperware shaker or whisk together. Add slowly while whisking continuously. It will thicken in a few minutes.
Cut across the grain to make it fork tender.
Originally Published June 29, 2012.