I love cooking a turkey breast, and I make a delicious herb stuffed breast for all occasions. I like it best for the leftovers, so we can have turkey sandwiches all week.
I was dying to try this ever since Thanksgiving, but never got the chance. A New Year's party was just the reason I needed.
There are so many wonderful sounding roulades out there, Saveur had one in November with boudin sausage, Bitchin Camero has one wrapped in bacon, and Ina had one with fig and sausage stuffing. Ok, fig and sausage, I am in.
I didn't stick to the recipe, using walnuts instead of the pine nuts, using orange juice instead of brandy, omitting the dried cranberries (which I hate) and changing around the quantities of ingredients. If you want to use the original recipe, click here.
I will warn you, butterflying the turkey breasts and pounding them, then stuffing and rolling them and tying them with twine is a chore, but it all will be worth it in the end.
I would suggest you cut all your kitchen twine before hand, so your disgusting dirty poultry hands don't get everything filled with lovely turkey bacteria, you know what I mean? (obviously, I forgot to do this beforehand! yuck!).
Also, line your cutting board with plenty of plastic wrap, so you can keep the area nice and clean.
I also increased the cooking temperature to 350F and made a gravy for my little bundles. These were only wonderful.
This will make extra stuffing, so be prepared to have a buttered casserole dish ready to bake the rest of the stuffing for tomorrow's dinner!
Roasted Turkey Roulade w/ Fig & Sausage Stuffing: (loosely adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics)
2 boneless turkey breasts, preferably w/ skin on, each weighing 2.5 lbs
1 cup of dried figs, stems removed and diced
1/2 cup of orange juice
4 tbsp butter
2 onions, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 good quality Italian sausages, I used 1 hot and 1 sweet, casings removed
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
3 cups of stale bread cubes (Ina uses 3 cups of Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing mix)
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
1 egg, beaten
kosher salt & pepper
4 tbsp butter, melted for drizzling on top of the turkey
Place the dried figs in the orange juice and simmer about 4 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the celery, onions, rosemary and sausage, breaking up the sausage into little pieces. Cook on medium for about 10 minutes until vegetables are cooked and sausage is browning.
Add the nuts and the figs w/ any liquid and cook for another 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, add the sausage mixture to the bread cubes and mix in the chicken stock and beaten egg. Keep tossing with a spoon until the mixture is nice and wet and well combined.
Now comes the fun part.
Lay plastic wrap on your work surface. The turkey breasts should have a little flap opening, so either using your hand or a chef's knife, cut open that flap, spreading out the muscle, this is butterflying (or ask your butcher to do it, it's a lot easier!). It should look like an open book.
Pound it with a meat mallet until it is nice and thin for rolling.
Spread the stuffing about a 1/2" thick layer on the meat, leaving a half inch border on all sides. Don't mound the stuffing too thick, or it will be hard to roll.
Starting at one end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll, tucking in any stuffing that is trying to escape. Tie the roasts firmly with kitchen twine every 2", and one going down the long side, making compact cylinders.
Place the turkey breasts seam sides down in a baking pan (not a glass pan, that will cook too hot and dry out the turkey).
Brush with melted butter and season generously w/ kosher salt & pepper. Roast 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees in the center. Test it in a few places to make sure. My turkeys cooked in 90 minutes.
Cover the breasts loosely with aluminum foil for 20 minutes before slicing. Remove twine and carve nice 1" slices and serve with extra stuffing if you like.