Monday, December 27, 2010

Boneless Turkey Breast with Sausage and Dried Fruit Stuffing

This is well worth the effort, for it tastes as good as it looks!

Serves 4 to 10 people, depending upon size of breast.

I'd wanted to prepare this for a holiday dinner for years, but was always worried I'd end up with a kitchen-disaster, and a failed holiday menu.  If you want to experiment once first, I recommend doing so with a small turkey breast.  With some patience, you can easily debone the breast at home, or ask your butcher to do so for you.  Make sure you tell him what you intend to do with the meat, and he'll probably throw in some string!

1 whole, boneless turkey breast, butterflied  (3 to 6 pounds)
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons butter, softened
Sweet Sausage and Dried Fruit Stuffing (click here for recipe)

You'll also need:
kitchen string
cheesecloth (you can buy it in any kitchen store)
meat thermometer
meat mallet

To prepare meat:
On a very large chopping board, use a knife and your fingers, to remove skin from breast, reserving skin in one large piece.  Remove any meat that is hanging or partially attached to breast.  Turn breast over, so boned-side is up.  For a larger breast (4 - 6  pounds), slice breast down the middle (where breastbone would have been) so you have two equal pieces.  Locate the tenderloin (the thickest part of each breast half).  With a sharp knife, slice down into but NOT through the tenderloin, pushing the meat apart with your fingers so that the entire piece lays flat.

Cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet, until the meat is of uniform thickness (about 3/4 of an inch thick).  Season with salt and pepper. 

I should have left myself a 1 inch border all the way around my breast.  

Stuff turkey:
Spread stuffing (about 3/4 inch thick) over turkey, leaving a 1 inch border.  Starting with one short end, roll into a log, completely enclosing the stuffing.  

I secured these with two pieces of string before I replaced the skin for ease of handling.

Wrap the reserved skin around the rolled breast (if you've cut your breast in two, do the same with the skin), making sure you completely cover the exposed seam.  

For a tighter roll, which I recommend, use cheesecloth over the skin.  My stuffing stayed in place, but the end pieces (first slices) would have been less ragged looking.  The cheesecloth also helps to keep the stuffing in-place.

For a more perfect finished product, tightly roll each breast in cheesecloth, pulling the cloth over the exposed ends, and tucking under, so the stuffing stays put (not pictured here, but recommended).  Secure each roll with kitchen string in at least two places.  Rub with butter (butter over the top of cheesecloth, if using).

Careful not to overcook, as the meat will be dry.  Tent with foil after skin browns nicely.  These were cooked perfectly.

To roast:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a roasting pan and rack, with cooking spray or olive oil.  Place the rolled breast/s in oven, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of each roll, reads 155 degrees (check after 45 minutes, and short intervals thereafter, until temp is reached).  Allow to rest on the counter for 10 more minutes (meat will continue to cook slightly while resting).

Prepare pan gravy from drippings in skillet.

Remove cheesecloth and string, then cut turkey into 3/4 inch slices.  Serve with gravy.

No comments:

Post a Comment