Turkey Tenderloin Royale

Turkey Inspiration

Move over coquettish turkey; your offerings come in more ways than a whole bird or sandwich meat. Enter the tenderloin—huge portions compared to the chicken—big as a man’s hand.

Marinate the tenders for grilling and experience the transformation. You might have to ask the butcher for turkey tenderloins, but they are becoming more available.

Greeks perfected marinating-grilling chicken for their national dish: souvlaki. The results for turkey are easy—the effort-versus-reward is big time! I will sometimes substitute chicken breasts if turkey tenderloins are not available.

Our family was unmotivated to prepare the big bird this Thanksgiving, so I suggested my go-to recipe which is then topped with pesto and bread crumbs. It got raves it is to become a future tradition.

RECIPE: Serves 3-4 [One tenderloin can weigh as much as 8 ounces].

  • turkey tenderloin- 2 [or substitute skinless boneless chicken breasts]
  • marinade
    • lemon- 1, both zest and juice
    • coriander seeds- 2 tsp, ground
    • sea salt- 1 tsp
    • pepper, fresh ground- 1 tsp
    • garlic- 2 cloves, fine mince
    • olive oil- 1/4 cup


  1. Prepare the marinade.
  2. Place tenderloins in a sealable bag along with the marinade, then squeeze out the air and seal. Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours; turning occasionally.
  3. Remove the tenderloins and pour marinade into a small pan. Use your fingers to remove most of the marinade on the meat into the pan. Bring pan to a simmer and turn off heat.
  4. On low direct heat grill the tenderloins until internal heat is 165º. Alternately, preheat a skillet and film the pan with oil. Add a 1/4 tsp of baking soda. Sauté tenderloins until cooked. [The baking soda is marvelous at deeply browning the meat.]
  5. Cut tenderloins into 1/4-inch slices and arrange on a serving platter. Pour the marinade over the slices and serve with pesto and bread crumbs [recipes follow].



Serve with bowls of pesto and toasted bread crumbs.

Toasted Bread Crumbs: This is a great anytime condiment that takes minutes to prepare. I use Panko, a Japanese extra crunchy variety now easily found in supermarkets.

  • Panko- 1/3 cup
  • Olive oil- 1 TBS
  • Parmesan- 2 TBS
  1. In a small non-stick skillet preheated to medium add panko. Do not leave your station and brown the panko for a couple minutes, to a mahogany color.
  2. Off heat stir in olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. Cool and break up with your fingers.

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