“Though a whole roasted bird is traditional, l think that a turkey breast rolled up with stuffing is hands-down the most flavorful way to serve the bird on Thanksgiving. I ask my butcher to debone and butterfly the turkey so that the hard part’s done before I bring it home. If you’d like, prepare the stuffing the night before and keep refrigerated until thirty minutes before prepping the turkey.” – Camille Styles
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup port wine
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/3 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1 T thyme leaves, stems discarded
- 2 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 whole turkey breast, deboned and butterflied
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Herbes de Provence
- In a small saucepan, place the dried cherries, port and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the onion and celery. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onion begins to soften, then add the sausage. Cook, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, until browned and cooked completely through.
- Add the pecans, thyme leaves and cherries with their cooking liquid. Let cook together for a few minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, then add the sausage mixture, egg, chicken stock 3/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Stir everything together until stuffing mix is moistened.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a baking rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Unfold the turkey onto a cutting board with the skin side down. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, then spread stuffing in an even layer, about 1/2” thick, all over the meat being careful to leave a small border on each side so the stuffing doesn’t overflow when it gets rolled up.
- Starting from a long end, roll the turkey into a tight cylinder. Cut 6-inch lengths of kitchen twine, and use to tie around the turkey at 3-inch intervals to hold it all together. After the turkey is rolled, carefully tuck any stuffing that escaped back into the turkey.
- Place the turkey, seam side down, onto the baking rack. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. Roast for 1 hour, then decrease cooking temperature to 325 degrees and roast for 1 more hour. The turkey is ready when a thermometer inserted into the center registers 150 degrees F.
- Remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Transfer to a platter or cutting board, garnish with lots of herbs and slice into 3/4-inch thick slices.
Bits of Brilliance: This recipe makes more stuffing than will fit in the bird (and your guests are sure to want a bit scoop of it on their plates) so pack the remaining stuffing into its own oven-safe dish, then cook for the last hour with the turkey at 325 degrees and serve on the buffet.