Inspired by recipes from the Estremadura region of Spain that feature their famous Pimenton de la Vera smoked paprika, Turkey Tenderloin With Blood Orange Sauce brings the flavors of Spain to your table. The vivid color and sweetness of blood oranges and the smoky flavor of smoked paprika from Spain are the perfect ingredients to enhance a poultry product that can sometimes be bland and dry. This recipe is a great way to usher in spring as it is lighter and healthier than the winter comfort foods we’ve been eating over the past few months.
The smoked paprika in this recipe contributes color and flavor in both a marinade that the turkey rests in overnight and the blood orange sauce.
If you can not find blood oranges at your local market, navel oranges will be a good substitute although the color of the sauce won’t be quite as vivid.
If I lived in the Estremadura region of Spain, I would prepare this dish with a tenderloin from the famous black ibérico pigs that feed on nuts and acorns that give them an unbelievably rich flavor. You may live in an area where you can buy meat from a local farmer who raises these pigs and if so, prepare the dish with pork, if you wish. I have made this recipe with pork before and it is wonderful as well. Whether using pork or turkey, I would suggest brining either meat for several hours to ensure that the meat will be very moist after cooking.
Turkey Tenderloin With Blood Orange Sauce
Blood Orange Sauce
- 2 blood oranges (navel oranges may be substituted)
- 1 garlic clove, minced fine
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 c. white wine
- 1 1/2 c. orange juice (the reserved blood orange juice plus addition regular orange juice)
- 1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel the oranges, removing as much white pith as possible. Place a strainer over a bowl and segment the oranges, letting the segments fall into the strainer and the juice collect in the bowl below. Set the segments aside and retain the juice.
Place the oil to a small sauce pan over medium heat, add the garlic and sauté for one minute until just golden. Add the wine and let reduce by half. Add the orange juice, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper and simmer until thickened until desired consistency. Add the orange segments and carefully stir. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 4 Tbsp. orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 turkey tenderloin about 3/4 lb. (a pork tenderloin may be substituted)
- 1 additional Tbsp. olive oil
Place all the ingredients except the additional oil into a ziplock bag, rub mixture over the tenderloin, remove the air and seal tightly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably over night and up to two days turning from time to time. Drain off the marinade, pat the tenderloin dry and let sit for 20 minutes before cooking.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place oil in a ovenproof sauté pan and sear the tenderloin on all sides for about 5 minutes. Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on size, until the tenderloin reaches 160 internal degrees on a meat thermometer. Place the turkey on a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice about 1/2 inch thick, plate and top with sauce and blood orange segments.
To complete the dinner, I served the blood orange sauced turkey tenderloin with Catalan spinach that was sautéed with raisins and pine nuts and roasted potatoes with fresh herbs. A glass of Spanish Albarino white wine went perfectly with the citrus flavors in this dish. The glistening red-orange colors and citrus flavors in the meal made me forget about the doldrums of the winter that just passed and had me thinking of sunny Spain.