Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'm On A Roll

Rolled Stuffed Breast of Turkey

I have a secret.  I don't really like turkey.  I know, it's seriously unpatriotic and I apologize, but I can not tell a lie.  Give me stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, vegetables, Parker house rolls, but hold the turkey.  That was my old tune, but...
Thanksgiving this year would be different, I was determined.  I wanted to be super organized (truly different), and prepared (not so different).  I wanted to do as much as possible ahead of time, so that I could really enjoy the experience with 18 of my closest family members + friends (different).  The thought of roasting a huge bird for the entire day, only to end up with the same old, same old, seemed, well, old.
In with the new!  I think I may be a convert.  Moist, tender, juicy and delicious turkey IS possible and guess what? I liked it! I liked it that night, the next morning and several days later.  I'm certain that you will too.  Here's the deal:

Rolled Stuffed (Brined) Roasted Breast of Turkey
  • 1 (3 - 4 lb) boneless, butterflied breast of turkey
  • brine
  • stuffing of choice (sausage, prune and chestnut for me)
  • salt & pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil for rubbing the breast
  • 2 cups of dry white wine 
  • 2 cups of turkey or chicken stock
  • kitchen string for tying the roast
 I purchased boneless breasts of turkey and had them butterflied.  When I was ready to start the preparation, I pounded them so that they would be as equally thick throughout as possible.  This is not easy, so get ready to pound your brains out!  Get rid of those pent up holiday aggressions in a really productive and healthy way.  I used a heavy silicone rolling pin as my meat pounder.

Pounded breast, salt & pepper (oops, no salt & pepper necessary pre-brine!)

I used the brine recipe from one of my favorite blogs,  The Pioneer Woman.  Her turkey brine rocks!  I brined my breasts (!) for approximately 1 hour per pound.  When you brine a whole bone in turkey, overnight brining is acceptable, but with the boneless butterflied breasts, overnight would most definitely result in overkill, which would not be good.  Fortunately, it was cold outside, so I placed the turkey in a large stock pot with the brine and placed it outside.  Refrigerate the brining breasts if your exterior temperatures are not cool enough.
When the turkey is brined, remove it from the pot, rinse it well under cool running water and then dry it very well with a kitchen towel.  Place your butterflied breast on the counter and season it with salt & pepper.  Spread a layer of stuffing over the surface of the meat covering the surface to about 2 inches in from the outside of the meat.

a layer of stuffing
Starting with one of the long sides of the breasts, start to roll the turkey up like a jelly roll, until the stuffing is enclosed, stuffing will leak out while you roll, no worries (it gets messy, I'm just sayin).  With the help of a friend or family member, starting in the middle of the roll, start to tie up the roast with 12" sections of kitchen string to secure the filling and hold the meat in place.  Tie every couple of inches, until the roast is secure.

Place the roast in an oiled (I used olive oil) heavy roasting pan, seam side down.  Rub the roast all over with a coating of olive oil or butter (I used olive oil) and season with salt & pepper.
Ready to roast
Roast the rolled breasts in a 350°F oven, basting every 15 minutes with equal parts of (combined) white wine and turkey stock for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 155° when inserted into the stuffing in the center of the roast.

Remove the roasts from the oven and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes loosely covered with foil.  This is an important step to allow the roast to rest which will insure a juicy product.  Remove the string, slice and serve!

The finished product

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