So let’s talk turkey today. It is getting down the wire after all! Are you Team Thanksgiving-only or Team Turkey-all-year-round? Doesn’t there seem to be two staunch schools of thought on this matter? To me, I could care less about the time of year a beautifully roasted turkey lands in front of me, as long as it’s got all the sides this major Thanksgiving fan could ask for. And since I’m not hosting Thanksgiving again this year (sigh), I decided to play around in the kitchen a few weeks ago with this roast turkey roulade and all of my favorite sides. While the final product of this roulade seems super fancy, it’s actually very easy to put together and ends up being the perfect addition to a rustic fall meal. The stuffing inside the turkey is a traditional sausage stuffing with the addition of some boozy dried figs and cranberries. Thank goodness there’s a ton of this stuffing to go around because it certainly made this meal and everyone went back for seconds!
The magic about the recipe is that the roulade can be assembled the night before you cook it in order to save time. If a whole turkey breast is too much food for your needs, considering purchasing a turkey cutlet (one half of a breast), pound it out slightly, and make a half recipe of the stuffing. There will still be plenty to go around!
- ¾ cup large-diced dried mission/black figs, stems removed
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup brandy
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
- 3 - 4 celery stalks, ½-inch-diced (about 1 cup)
- ¾ lb mild pork sausage, casings removed
- 1 ½ tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast (skin-on), boned, butterflied, and kept connected (4-5 lbs)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- To make the stuffing: Add the figs and cranberries to a small saucepan and pour the brandy and ½ cup water over them. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes until they start to soften. Mix in the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into crumbly pieces, and cook for 10 minutes until the sausage is browned. Stir in the fruit and the liquid from the saucepan and the rosemary; cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Pour the stuffing mix into a very large bowl then stir in the sausage-fruit mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- To prepare and roast turkey roulade: Preheat the oven to 325° F. Set a baking rack over a roasting pan or large baking sheet. If you don't plan on making gravy with the drippings, line the bottom of the pan with foil first for easy clean-up. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. Cut six 12-inch long pieces of kitchen twine and set aside.
- Lay the turkey breast out flat, skin-side down, on a clean work surface or cutting board. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the breast. Spread a ½-inch thick layer of stuffing out over the breast, leaving a ½-inch border around the outside. Transfer the remaining stuffing to the prepared casserole dish; cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate. (Bake the stuffing for 45 minutes at 325° F towards the end of the roast time of the roulade.)
- Starting from a short end, roll the breast up tightly and as you roll, push any stuffing that falls out back into the rolls. Once rolled, slip the pieces of kitchen twine under the roll and tie each piece firmly (spaced about 2 inches apart) to secure the breast from opening while roasting. Trim the ends of the strings. Place the roulade seam-side down on the baking rack and brush the outside with the melted butter. Sprinkle a little extra salt and pepper.
- Roast for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 155° F on an instant read thermometer. Remove the finished roulade from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil to let it rest for 15 minutes and continue to rise up to a fully cooked temperature. Cut thick slices before serving hot.
adapted from Back to Basics by Ina Garten