six-pepper southern turkey cutlets

after preparing my thanksgiving express turkey roulades this week, i started thinking about other exciting preparations for turkey cutlets. i was inspired by a recent trip my husband and i took to charleston, sc. it was a quick weekend getaway to see the beautifully maintained colonial homes and historic fort sumter, where the civil war began. and, of course, to stuff ourselves with the delicious cuisine of south carolina’s lowcountry–shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, plump oysters, and much more. (if you’re headed to charleston, don’t miss jestine’s, a fantastic country kitchen; slightly north of broad, an upscale farm-to-table restaurant; or the gin joint, a tiny spot with sophisticated cocktails. i also can’t wait to return to try sean brock’s restaurants, mccrady’s and husk, which look amazing.)

with the region’s vibrant flavors still in my mind, i put together a piquant spice mix that made for bold and tasty cutlets. i used six peppers overall: black, white, pink, and green peppercorns, plus paprika and cayenne. i served the cutlets with some simply cooked kale and red rice, but you could choose any sides that suit your fancy–perhaps some true southern collard greens or macaroni and cheese. if you don’t get enough turkey at thanksgiving, this is a great way to enjoy it with some bold new flavors! of course, it’s also a quick and delicious meal year-round.

six-pepper southern turkey cutlets

serves 4

4 turkey cutlets, pounded to about 1/4″ thick

2 tsp coarse salt

1 1/2 tsp mixed freshly ground pepper (black, white, pink, and green peppercorns if available)

2 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 1/4 tsp half-sharp paprika (sweet is fine, too)

1 1/4 tsp mustard powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

3-4 tbsp olive oil

1. mix all the spices together in a small bowl.

2. one by one, place the cutlets in a large sealable container and sprinkle them with a generous coating of spices. flip each one and coat the other side. then add the next cutlet on top and repeat. you can fold the cutlets as needed to fit. once all the cutlets are coated, seal the container and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

3. when ready to cook, heat the oven to 200°f. then heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. once the oil begins to ripple, place one cutlet in the pan. cook until well browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. place the cutlet on a baking dish lined with tinfoil and greased with a bit of olive oil, then place in the oven to keep warm. repeat with the remaining cutlets, adding more oil to the pan as needed, until all the cutlets are cooked and ready to serve.

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