By 300 Sandwiches
Unless you’re cooking a petite sized cornish hen, you likely don’t need a whole bird for small holiday dinner gatherings. An alternative to cooking a whole turkey is to just cook the breast. A loaf of turkey meat, easily carveable, easy to cook, is usually enough for dinner and a few sandwiches with the leftovers.
Even better than herbed turkey breast is stuffing turkey breast with nuts and fruit and stuffing, if only to be able to play with your food to assemble the dish.
I made my very first stuffed turkey breast over the weekend while E was off to Japanese class on Saturday. I told him I’d have lunch ready when he got back. I made stuffing with cranberries, apples, onions, celery and pecans and rolled it up into a butterflied turkey breast. After it baked, I made two fat sandwiches for E and I. It’s an entire meal between two pieces of bread. And some sweet zing to the ‘which and slather on some leftover cranberry sauce on your turkey slices before you chow down.
1 6 to 7 pound turkey breast, deboned and butterflied
1/4 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 apple, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup stuffing mix (I used Pepperidge Farm’s Herb Season Stuffing)
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
cranberry sauce (optional)
(Turkey breast can be bought prepackaged, but ask your butcher to butterfly your turkey breast at the meat counter.)
Season butterflied turkey breasts with salt, pepper, parsley and orange zest. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt butter, then toast pecans for 2 minutes. Then add onions, celery and apple and brown for 3-4 minutes. Then add broth, and stir in stuffing. Mix in cranberries, and combine until stuffing has absorbed all of the broth. Remove from heat.
Lay out turkey breast on workable surface. Scoop on stuffing mixture onto the bird. Then roll the bird onto itself from one side, like a jelly roll. Then, take twine, and wrap the roll across the body at the top, middle and end, and then take twine and wrap lenghtwise around body.
Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the same skillet you cooked the stuffing in. Take turkey roll, and brown in skillet on all sides to get a golden color. Then pop the entire skillet into the oven and let cook for an hour.
Bird is cooked when internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve.
To make sandwich: lay out pieces of bread. Slather on cranberry sauce if you like on both slices. Layer on greens and slice or two of stuffed turkey breast. Top with other piece of bread, slice in half and serve.