While pork chops are a mainstay in the meat section, turkey chops are a little more unusual. Created from slicing across the breast and keeping the bone in the meat, the chops are both flavorful and low in fat. Cutting across the grain in order to create the chop also adds tenderness to a meat that can be quite tough when cooked. Baking the turkey chops maintains the low fat content and can be a quick process, if done correctly.
Choose thinner turkey cutlets -- between one-quarter inch to one-half inch thick. Cutlets can range in thickness, but thin versions cook faster, as the heat can quickly distribute throughout the meat. Use fresh cutlets; frozen cutlets can take longer and must be cooked on a lower setting, to ensure that they are not dried out on the edge and undercooked in the middle. Alternatively, defrost the cutlets in the refrigerator, under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, for 24 hours before baking.
Setting the oven rack to the middle of the oven facilitates even heating of the meat. Turn the oven to 375 F; any higher will cook the cutlet on the outside but not the inside, and lower temperatures will take longer. Alternatively, the chicken can be broiled. Set the oven to broil, or 500 F on the top element. Cook the chicken on this heat for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping over once to ensure even browning. However, this method can easily burn the turkey and requires constant vigilance.
Bake the turkey for 20 to 25 minutes. Determine doneness by slicing into a chop and checking whether that middle is no longer pink and the juices are running clear. To be certain, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of one of the chops. If it reads 165 F, then the chops are done. Be aware that cooking time is dependent on the oven size, accuracy of temperature and how many times the door is opened.
Pan-fry the chops for an even faster cooking time than baking. Heat oil in a deep bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat and cook the turkey cutlets for 5 to 8 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through. Another quick way to cook the cutlets is in the microwave, in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic covered dish, on the poultry setting for about 10 to 12 minutes, turning them over once, halfway through cooking.
Based in Kingston, Canada, Samantha Lowe has been writing for publication since 2006. She has written articles for the "Mars' Hill" newspaper and copy for various design projects. Her design and copy for the "Mars' Hill" won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award in 2008. Lowe holds an Honors BA from Trinity Western University, and a MSc in Occupational Therapy from Queen's University where she is currently doing her PhD.
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