Main Course, Poultry

Stuffed Turkey Breast

5 Comments 04 November 2011

Turkey on Thanksgiving Day is a lot of work, to say the least. Is it worth it? Sure it is, but sometimes you might want to cut some corners and take it a little easier on what can be a stressful cooking day, too. We picked out this Rolled Stuffed Turkey Breast from Williams Sonoma because it looked like a great solution for those in need of a little ease with their turkey.

Except we had to change ours to Stuffed Turkey Breast. Not a lot of rolling happened, but I’ll explain why later.

Stuffed Turkey Breast 16

Since this is a shortcut, technically, to your Thanksgiving bird, there’s also a shortcut in the ingredients – the stuffing is the boxed/bagged kind. But you’re going to kick it up with some fresh, sauteed onion, fennel, celery and plenty of fresh herbs. We used sage, rosemary and thyme, a kind of holy trinity of Thanksgiving at Full Fork Ahead.

Stuffed Turkey Breast 15

Just give the onion, fennel and celery a little while to soften. Ours did need several minutes longer to do so, and we’ve noted that below. Just be the judge of when your batch is done. Add in those fresh herbs and it’s beginning to smell a lot like Thanksgiving dinner!

After this part, you’ll add in the cooked veggies with the stuffing in a large bowl, saturating it all with a few cups of warmed chicken stock, which is all set aside then to reconstitute and await the turkey. I’m, urr, not sure where my pics of that went!

Stuffed Turkey Breast 14

Okay, so this fella, the turkey breast. I had the butcher at the store butterfly it for me, telling him we’d need to roll the dang thing up. It looked nicely butterflied at the time. And still in one whole piece. When I unrolled it for this, though, it had actually been cut in almost three separate pieces. Urrr….

At this point we had to try to pound it to a half-inch thickness. Which is so not easy, especially on the thicker upper portion. I had no meat mallet, so I used an unopened vegetable can like I always do, with the bird between two sheets of parchment paper. I dented the can. I did not get the meat pounded as thin as needed.

I was starting to feel a little angsty.

Stuffed Turkey Breast

Because the meat was in almost three pieces, connected only thinly at the top, we put the stuffing smack in the middle. I kind of folded the meat up around the stuffing while sis blogging partner tied it off with some cooking twine.

Stuffed Turkey Breast 9

Amazingly enough…this worked! The presentation isn’t as purty as the original from WS, but we were pleased considering the butcher butchered the butterflying.

Stuffed Turkey Breast 5

Grab a platter and prepare that bird for annihilation! In other words, pretty it up for the table and prepare to feast. This smelled wonderful baking in the oven, and soon enough our taste buds were definitely rewarded.

Stuffed Turkey Breast 1

Since we only made one turkey breast (the recipe calls for two), we baked the load of stuffing that was leftover in its own casserole dish to serve alongside. We wholeheartedly suggest this as there’s not a ton of room to put stuffing inside the breast after it’s been rolled or folded up.

We found this to be a wonderful solution to a quicker, somewhat easier turkey day celebration. No messing with a huge turkey if you don’t need to, or even a smaller whole one. This is obviously perfect for smaller parties, families of two or three or four. Hubby like it so much that he’s all for having it at our own dinner. Hope you enjoy!

Stuffed Turkey Breast

from Rolled Stuffed Turkey Breast, Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

Special equipment: kitchen twine or string and a meat thermometer

  • 4 Tbs. (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  • 2 Tbs. minced mixed fresh herbs, such as
    rosemary, sage and thyme
  • 1⁄3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 box/bag bread stuffing, about 1 lb. total  (we used Pepperidge Farm)
  • 3 to 3 1⁄2 cups chicken stock, warmed, plus
    more if needed
  • 2 boneless turkey breast halves, each about
    4 lb., butterflied by your butcher and pounded
    to 1⁄2-inch thickness
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 jar turkey gravy base, prepared according to
    package instructions, for serving
Preheat an oven to 425°F.In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and fennel and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Add the mixed fresh herbs, parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the focaccia stuffing and 3 cups of the stock and stir to combine; add more stock if needed to form a moist stuffing. Set aside.
Place 1 butterflied turkey breast on a work surface, with a long side nearest you, and season with salt and pepper. Mound 3 cups of the stuffing in the center, leaving a 1-inch border on each long side. Fold the long side nearest you over the stuffing to enclose, gently pressing on the filling, then roll to form a cylinder; do not roll it too tightly or the filling will slip out of the ends. Using kitchen twine, tie the rolled turkey breast crosswise at 1-inch intervals. Rub the outside of the turkey breast with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the other turkey breast half. (You will have some stuffing left over.)
Place the remaining stuffing in a casserole dish. Set the turkey breast halves, skin side up, on top. Roast for 25 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Continue roasting until the skin is crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breasts registers 165°F, about 40 minutes more. At this point, also place the extra stuffing in the oven to bake for the remaining 40 minutes. Transfer the turkey breasts to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the twine and cut the turkey into 1/2-inch slices. Serve immediately with turkey gravy.
One breast could serve 4-6 I’m betting, two would serve 8-10.

Notes:

Again with the stuffing, if you enjoy the stuff, consider having extra to bake in a casserole dish – you can do this at the same time as the bird is baking. Place the extra stuffing in the oven after you turn the temp down to 350°F and bake for the remaining 40 minutes.
We did end up baking the turkey a little longer, until the meat thermometer read the right temp, but only about another ten or fifteen minutes.

Author

- who has written 324 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and book blogger, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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Your Comments

5 Comments so far

  1. Natasha A. says:

    I definitely think I prefer the stuffing method over the rolling method.
    It looks wondering and I can only imagine how well it tastes!!

    • KMont says:

      There was also the fact that I just could not get the meat pounded thin enough anyway! Wow what a lot of energy it took getting it what thinness we could lol. Yes, the stuffing was easier and turned out good, too! Hope you like it if you give it a try.

  2. Something new with turkey! YAY!

    • KMont says:

      Woohoo – yes! :D

      By the way, I checked out your blog – it’s lovely! Added you to our blog roll because your Angel Food Cake post made me smile while I was having a tough Monday night. Thank you!


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  1. Thanksgiving! « Our Backyard - November 27, 2011

    [...] are links to the recipes I used as guidance: Bread from My Kitchen Addiction Turkey from Full Fork Ahead via Williams Sonoma Potato Casserole from How Sweet It Is Brussel Sprouts [...]

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