Summer Braised Turkey with Chard, Tomatoes and Basil; the update

Deconstructed Turkey Rolls

I don’t like that term…. Deconstructed.

I hear it often on the Food Networks.

On the one hand, I think it sounds a bit pretentious and self-aggrandizing.

On the other hand, it sounds as if the chef either wasn’t capable of coming up with a better name or simply couldn’t be bothered.

Or, maybe, it was just a screw-up:

‘The tuna salad fell out of the bread so I slapped a few more lettuce leaves on it, cut the bread smaller and called it a Deconstructed Tuna Sandwich.

I’ll lay claim to that last one.

I was planning on making turkey rolls.  They were meant to look similar to these Turkey Pesto Rolls I made two summers ago:

Grilled Turkey Rolls
I have always gotten perfectly sliced turkey cutlets in the past.  I buy them prepackaged, but always pay attention and have never been disappointed.

Until this time.  They looked good through the film, but looks can be deceiving.

The cutlets looked like they’d been cut with a chainsaw.

A very big chainsaw wielded by an incompetent amateur.

They ranged from paper thin to an inch thick.

They were thoroughly inspected by both mon mari and me…. There was absolutely no way of salvaging them to make turkey rolls.

Since I had the rest of the ingredients laid out and ready to roll (so to speak) I could legitmately call this dish Deconstructed Turkey Rolls.

But I won’t.

And I only used the ingredients I had intended for the rolls and the accompanying sauce.

I was determined…..

Summer Braised Turkey with Chard, Tomatoes and Basil      

Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes    


  • 3 turkey cutlets, 12oz (350gr) total weight
  • 3 thin slices dry-cured ham – Prosciutto, Bayonne
  • 9 small – medium, perfect, tender chard leaves
  • 12 large basil leaves
  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 6 tsp pesto rosso
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Turkey with Chard


  • Cut turkey into reasonable pieces. 
  • Roughly chop ham.
  • Slice the chard into wide strips.
  • Roughly chop tomatoes.
  • Tear basil leaves in half..
  • Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add turkey and lightly brown on both sides.
  • Move turkey to the side, add ham and sauté until starting to get crisp.
  • Move the turkey back to the center of the skillet
  • Spread the chard and tomatoes over the turkey.
  • Cover, reduce heat and braise for 5 – 10 minutes, until chard wilts and tomatoes soften and release their juices.
  • Stir in basil leaves, pesto rosso and serve.

I don’t know how the Rolls would have been – but this was sinfully delicious!

About a month ago, when mon mari had the finished dining room in his sights, he was debating who he could get to help move in the book cases.

Yesterday he decided he could do it himself.

And there you have it…..

He moved them himself.

He even took everything off the shelves!

Well, he started to, then I realized what he was doing….

It’s ever so much easier if all the books are taken off the shelves and kept in the order they were in, by shelf.

It’s also so much more logical to clean everything in the dirty den, then move it to the clean dining room…. Than move it to the clean dining room, then dust it.

Remember, the farmers have been harvesting here – we’re living in a dust bowl.

He finished the moving of the shelves early yesterday afternoon.

I finished the cleaning and reorganizing this afternoon.

As long as I was at it……

We could finally move the last bits out of the crowded living room into the den where they were meant to be…. More cleaning and organizing (no photos – not finished.)


I moved our collection of wine decanters into the dining room – from their scattered places throughout the house.  This is a table that was left to us by the previous owners at our last house. They left a lot of furniture.  We kept it.

And I moved the tea-cart in.  I decided it was a good place to store the wine books… Since I had eliminated their former resting place.

There will be a bit more rearranging once we have a mantel over the fireplace….

But we have a hearth!  (Needs to be grouted).

We’re getting very close to having this floor finished….


12 thoughts on “Summer Braised Turkey with Chard, Tomatoes and Basil; the update”

  1. LOVE the hearth AND the turkey! When I’ve been please with something and then had it come looking like your chain saw turkey, that has been the end. You think maybe they hire a totally new person, give them no instruction and that is how it changes 😉

  2. The house looks great! Very tidy. Unlike my own.
    “Cut the turkey into reasonable pieces” may be the best cooking instruction I have read. And the colors of both dishes are delightful.
    I’m wishing for fall tonight…

  3. Good save on the turkey rolls! 🙂 And loving how your home is coming together…must be so gratifying. Love the tea cart!

  4. I don’t like “deconstructed” meals either – it sort of just conjures up for me a vision of just a mess on a plate – maybe I am just showing my age or my conservatism !!

  5. My husband, a building designer of merit, abhors deconstructed architecture; I feel much the same way about deconstructed food dishes. I would call this dish a delicious “save” in the face of non-complying ingredients. Good save!!
    I love that your house is getting to the finishing touches stage and am eagerly awaiting the “all done” photo montage. Can we all come stay with you?

  6. My husband, a designer of ships, says deconstructed architecture is narcissistic. He also said some other things.
    I love the phrase “non-complying” ingredients. I am enjoying this post and the comments, too!

  7. Tanna, who knows… I guess changes keep us on our toes… young and all that LOL
    Thanks Dan… We keep working at it.
    Pam, thanks… it just sort of accumulated…
    Mimi, thanks – I get tired of the detailed instructions = and trying to do it LOL. The rooms tidy because it’s new.
    Ina, thanks – we keep at it.
    Joey, thanks… We’ve had the tea-cart forever…. finally found a nice home for it.
    Meredith, thanks – welcome back to this side of the pond.
    manningroad, I agree, totally. It shows lack of imagination.
    Christine, thanks – love that ‘non-complying ingredients’ And yes, you’re invited… Sounds like fun!
    Mimi, isn’t that a great phrase? I think the term is just used to grab attention….

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