A whole turkey breast is butterflied then stuffed with savory sausage and fennel in the style of the Italian specialty, porchetta
. It's an easy recipe with simple ingredients that pack a lot of flavor. The turkey roast is cut into moist slices and then drizzled with its cooking juices.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 8
- 1 4-pound boneless, skinless turkey breast, butterflied (ask your butcher to do this)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped, fronds reserved
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound pork or turkey sausage meat
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- ½ pound thinly sliced pancetta
- 1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth, home-made or packaged (not canned)
- Ask your butcher to butterfly the turkey breast to ½-inch thickness.
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Lay the butterflied turkey breast flat on a work surface. Cover the breast with plastic wrap, and gently pound so it approximates a rectangle at 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the plastic wrap and lightly salt and pepper one side of the breast. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and fennel, and sauté 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the garlic, sausage, salt and pepper, and sauté until the sausage is just barely browned. Taste, and add more salt if desired. Transfer the sausage mixture to a large bowl and cool.
- Chop the fuzzy fronds, and add them to the sausage with the bread crumbs and egg. Combine everything together, then spread the sausage mixture evenly over the turkey breast. With the long side closest to you, carefully roll the turkey, like a jelly roll, leaving the seam-side down.
- Lay the sage leaves on top of the turkey roll. Overlap the pancetta slices across the top and sides of the turkey roll. (You can use bacon, if you like, instead of pancetta. But blanch it first to remove the smoky taste.) Secure with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals. Strew the red onion on the bottom of a roasting pan, and place the tied turkey roll on top. Pour the chicken broth around the turkey roll, then roast in the oven 1 to 1-¼ hours, or until the internal temperature is 155°F. (Start testing the temperature with an instant-read thermometer after 45 minutes.) Move the onions around the bottom of the pan so they don't burn.
- Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover with aluminum foil and rest at least 20 minutes. When ready to serve, cut off the kitchen string, and cut the turkey into slices. (If the crispy pancetta breaks off while slicing, don't worry, just serve the pieces with the slice.) Serve with the onions and drizzle with the cooking juices.