Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to roast a whole turkey.
If you are only hosting a few people for dinner and you don’t want weeks of leftovers, you can just roast a turkey breast! (You can also make it in less than half the time of a whole turkey.)
This stuffed turkey breast is as delicious as it is beautiful, and easier to make than it looks. We’ve stuffed it like a roulade, a roll-up with minced chard, prosciutto, toasted pine nuts, and onions.
You could use this stuffing, or one we made with porcini and cranberries, or your own favorite stuffing.
The trick is simply to not overcook the breast. It helps to wrap it in its skin to keep it from drying out. You can also brine your turkey overnight before cooking.
Chard and Prosciutto Stuffed Turkey Breast Recipe
If you have time, salt or brine the turkey breast and refrigerate overnight (remove and save the turkey skin before salting). This will give more time for the turkey to absorb the salt and it will enhance the flavor.
We'll serve the stuffed turkey breast simply with pan drippings. If you want gravy, you wont have enough drippings for that, so I recommend roasting a turkey wing or two alongside the stuffed breast, and making a simple gravy with those drippings.
- One 2 to 2 1/2 pound boneless, skin-ON, turkey breast (butterflied if your butcher will do that for you)
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 large bunch chard, well rinsed, large ribs removed
- 2 ounces prosciutto, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup minced red onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Kitchen twine
1 Butterfly the turkey breast and sprinkle with salt: If your butcher hasn't already butterflied the turkey breast, do so. Here's a great video showing how to debone and butterfly a turkey breast. Make sure to remove any tough tendons.
While you can leave the skin on if you want, I find it easier to work with the rolled up turkey if I carefully remove the skin (in one piece) and use it later to wrap the stuffed turkey.
Sprinkle the fleshy side(s) of the turkey breast with salt (about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt). Let sit while you are preparing the stuffing
2 Toast pine nuts: Place the pine nuts in a small sauté pan on medium heat. Cook until lightly browned, remove from stovetop to cool.
3 Blanch and chop chard: Heat a large (4 to 5 quart) pot half filled with salted water (2 teaspoons salt for 2 1/2 quarts of water or so). When the salted water is boiling, add the chard and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes until wilted and soft. Drain. Let cool and then chop finely.
4 Pulse pine nuts and prosciutto in food processor to mince: Place the pine nuts and chopped prosciutto into a food processor and pulse several times until minced and combined. (Do not over process, you want a mince, not a paste.)
5 Sauté onions, then garlic: Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the minced red onions, lower the heat to medium, and cook until softened and lightly browned. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.
6 Add the pine nut prosciutto mixture and the chopped chard to the sautéed onions. Remove from heat and let cool.
7 Pound turkey breast to an even thickness: Place the turkey breast (skin-side or former skin-side down) between two pieces of plastic or wax paper (can use butcher paper on the bottom). Use the flat edge of a meat hammer to pound the breast thin to an even thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Aim for a shape that resembles a rectangle.
8 Spread filling over turkey breast: Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the filling over the flattened turkey breast, leaving at least an inch and a half border from the edges.
9 Roll up the breast, cover with the skin, and tie: Roll up the breast tightly.
Wrap with the turkey skin (it will only cover one side). Tie up with butcher string.
10 Bake: Place on a foil or parchment paper lined roasting pan. Brush with a tablespoon of melted butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 400°F. Lower the heat to 325°F and roast 10 to 20 minutes more, until the internal temperature is 150°F.
11 Let rest: Remove from oven and tent with foil. (The internal temp will continue to rise for several minutes.) Let rest for 10 minutes.
To serve, remove twine and cut into 3/4 inch wide slices. Drizzle with pan juices.
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