Brrrr! Europe has been hit by a real Arctic blast overnight, bringing loads of powdery snow. I’m sure you can guess what I’m doing right now? That’s right, keeping warm by the stove! The kitchen is full of the glorious aroma of roasting turkey – now that may seem a bit strange seeing as there are only two of us, but today I’m not roasting a whole bird, rather a rolled breast, covered in prosciutto and filled with herby sausage stuffing.
There are a lot of us around the world facing the likelihood of much-reduced numbers at our Christmas celebration this year, which is where a dish like Roast Stuffed Turkey Breast is the perfect solution. Not only is it fabulously easy and quick to cook (no finding a pot or container big enough to brine a huge turkey this year!), it is ideal for smaller gatherings, or even a dinner for two, with plenty of leftovers for the next days.
Turkey breasts are generally sold in Germany with the skin off, so to prevent the breast drying out I wrap it in prosciutto or schinken. This traditional technique, known as ‘barding’ is a wonderful way to keep the breast moist, while infusing plenty of delicious flavour. If you don’t eat pork, you can simply use widely available turkey bacon instead.
In this recipe, I have given the instructions for a classic sausage meat stuffing, rounded out with orange zest and apple. The great thing about a roast like this is that you can flavour it however you like – cranberry is the obvious choice for stuffing, perhaps with cream cheese, or dried fruit and nuts. The key is to use plenty of fresh herbs for the best flavour.
With any roast, a thermometer is your best friend, and this is especially true with rolled or stuffed joints of meat. I like to use a digital thermometer to test the turkey at the thickest part, where it should read around 70°C / 165°F when fully cooked. The temperature increases slightly during the resting time.
Are you planning a Christmas celebration this year? What’s on your festive menu? Let me know in the comments below!
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
for the stuffing:
- 25g butter
- 1 large red onion, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 2 coarse Italian style sausages, skins removed
- 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
- small bunch of sage, leaves chopped
- 3 slices stale bread, finely cubed
- 1 egg
- 100ml white wine
- small bunch of parsley, chopped
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
- zest of 1 orange
- sea salt and black pepper
for the roast:
- 1kg turkey breast
- 6 slices prosciutto or pancetta
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 50g fresh cranberries (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Prepare the stuffing by melting the butter in a large frying pan. Cook the onion and celery gently for 5 minutes until beginning to soften but not brown.
- Add the garlic and crumble in the sausage using your fingers. Add the rosemary and sage, season with salt and pepper, then cook until the sausage is well browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the bread, egg, wine, parsley, apple and orange zest. Mix well, then add the sausage mixture to the bowl, stirring to combine. Taste and season again with salt and pepper as necessary.
- To prepare the turkey, place the breast on a chopping board, press firmly on top with your hand, then use a large, sharp knife to cut into the breast from the side, opening it out like a book. Spread the stuffing generously over the turkey - you will have some leftover, just set it aside for now.
- Starting at a short end, roll the turkey up, tucking the ends in as you go. Arrange the slices of prosciutto to cover the turkey, tucking the ends underneath. Use kitchen twine to tie the roast at even intervals (TIP: Don’t tie the turkey too tight! It will expand as it cooks, which means it will burst out of shape if you tie it too tightly).
- Place the turkey in a roasting tray, cut the orange into eights and place around the sides of the turkey with the sliced onion and cranberries (if using). Drizzle with olive oil, season again with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes until cooked through or a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roll registers 70° / 165°F. Scatter the remaining stuffing around the turkey for the last 45 minutes of the cooking time.
- While the turkey is in the oven you can prepare your sides or your favourite gravy.
- Remove the turkey from the oven, tent with tinfoil and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 832Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 305mgSodium: 1796mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 5gSugar: 14gProtein: 95g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I increase the amounts in this recipe to serve more people?
Absolutely! I would recommend making two 1kg turkey roasts rather than one gigantic roll, as that way they will cook in the same amount of time and stay lovely and moist. Whichever way you go, it’s a good idea to weigh the rolled and stuffed turkey and calculate around 40 minutes per kilogram, plus 20 minutes.
My turkey breast has skin on it! What should I do?
Lucky you! I would leave the skin on and skip the prosciutto. Before filling the breast, place it skin side down, so that when you roll it the skin is on the outside. Rub the skin with a little softened butter and season well before roasting.
Can I make Roast Stuffed Turkey Breast in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the turkey breast up to 48 hours in advance. Ensure that the stuffing is completely cold before rolling the turkey, keep well-chilled and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour before cooking. Take extra care to check the internal temperature of the turkey with a thermometer to make sure the middle is cooked through.
I don’t drink alcohol – can I omit it from the recipe?
Sure! Use orange or apple juice instead.