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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Turkey Spaetzle, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Granny Smith Apples, and Turkey Sauce

Turkey Spaetzle, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Granny Smith Apples, and Turkey Sauce

Provided by: Chef Wylie Dufresne

  • Type of Dish: Main Courses, Sides
  • Cuisine: American
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review

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“I originally thought of turkey tetrazzini, making noodles with the turkey, but that needed special equipment,” Dufresne says, so he simplified to spaetzle—then tossed most of the rest of the meal in with it.


14 ounces chicken livers, cleaned and soaked in milk
2½ pounds ground turkey thigh
6 ounces chicken fat, pork fatback, or butter
4½ teaspoons Activa RM (available from Ajinomoto; 201-294-3200)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon ground toasted juniper berries
2–3 tablespoons butter

3–4 Granny Smith apples, julienned and reserved in lemon water
Chervil sprigs

6 large sweet potatoes, about 2 pounds, peeled
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and white pepper

24 Brussels sprouts
¼ cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and white pepper

2 cups low-sodium mushroom broth (Pacific brand, available at Whole Foods)
2 packs instant roasted turkey gravy (Simply Organic brand, available at Whole Foods)
8 ounces butter
Juice of one lemon
Salt and white pepper


Cut the chicken livers into small pieces and freeze for about 20 minutes along with the ground turkey. Add livers and turkey to a food processor; slowly add the fat and process until the mixture is smooth and emulsified (in batches if necessary). Place mixture in a bowl, add the Activa RM, and incorporate well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, mace, and juniper berries.

In a large stockpot, heat water to just below boiling, 180 degrees. Nest a perforated half hotel pan (available at Chef Restaurant Supplies, 294 Bowery, nr. Houston St.) in the stockpot so the bottom rests about 2 inches above water level. Take a handful of the turkey mix, form a 2-inch layer in the perforated pan, and press through the holes to create the spaetzle. (It’s important to use your hand; a spatula will make the spaetzle too short.) Cook the spaetzle for 2 minutes, remove with slotted spatula, and place in an ice bath. Repeat these steps for all of the mixture. Reserve the spaetzle on ice until required.

When ready to serve, heat the butter in a large nonstick pan at medium-high until it bubbles; add the spaetzle, and brown slightly. Toss the sweet potatoes with the spaetzle, and place on a large serving platter. Scatter the Brussels sprouts as desired and garnish with julienned apples and fresh chervil.

For the roasted sweet potatoes: Cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Add the butter and 4 tablespoons water to a hot pan, then the sweet potatoes and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a circle of parchment paper, and simmer until tender. Remove parchment; increase heat and caramelize the potatoes, deglazing with water as necessary.

For the Brussels sprouts: Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise, place them cut side down, and julienne against the grain to give a shredded appearance. Add the butter, salt, and pepper to a large sauté pan; when hot, add the Brussels sprouts and sauté lightly, moving them all them time. Finish with a splash of wine, making sure the sprouts are still crisp.

For the turkey sauce: Mix the turkey gravy with mushroom broth in a small saucepan until smooth; place over medium heat, and cook until thickened. In another small saucepan, gently brown the butter; slowly drizzle in the warmed turkey gravy, and allow to emulsify. Finish with the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Published 2009)