0 hours 35 mins
1 hours 15 mins
1 ½ – 2 Lb. Boneless turkey breast
3 Slices of walnut bread, processed into bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. Finely chopped walnuts
1/4 Cup Onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp. Fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. Dried sage leaves
4 Dried figs; finely diced
2 – 4 Tbsps. of Turkey stock or broth
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
Kosher Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Rip bread into pieces and process in a food processor or blender until you have breadcrumbs. Place in a bowl.
2. In a small skillet, toast your walnuts over a medium heat until they become fragrant (2-4 minutes). Stir often to prevent them from burning. Finely chop the nuts and add the toasted nuts to the bowl with breadcrumbs.
3. Add some olive oil to the same pan and sauté the onions for a few minutes until they become translucent.
4. Add the onions, thyme, sage, and chopped figs to the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pour in the melted butter. Stir to combine. If it appears dry add the stock one-tablespoon at a time until moist. This may take anywhere from 2 – 4 tablespoons of stock to make sure it is moist.
5. Place the turkey breast on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, slice it almost in half starting at the right side. Be very careful not to cut it all the way through and to keep the knife level so that the top and bottom end up an equal thickness. You want to keep the skin so if there is excess, don’t cut it off. Leave it and you’ll wrap it around the breast when you roll it.
6. Open the turkey breast like a book and lay flat on the cutting board. Using a meat mallet or tenderizer, pound the breast flat so that it is an even thickness all over.
7. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
8. Place stuffing on top of the breast and press down so that it sticks to the turkey. Leave a little room on the sides so when you roll the breast, you don’t lose a lot of the stuffing out of the sides. (You will definitely lose some stuffing, there is just no way around it, but you can put that in a side dish and bake it along side the turkey breast.)
9. Beginning at the short end, start rolling the turkey up. When you have a fully rolled breast, stretch any excess skin to cover the breast. Then, tie the breast together by tying kitchen twine in even intervals around the breast. I tie in little bows that make it easy to remove at the end. I also add one long string around the length of the breast to help keep it all together. This will keep the meat intact and keep the stuffing from falling out. Season the now wrapped turkey breast with more salt and pepper on all sides.
10. Place the breast on a flat rack in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet with at least a one inch rim that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Put in the oven and add a cup of hot water in the bottom of the baking sheet or roasting pan. This will steam and give the meat some moisture. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Brush with melted butter and continue baking for 15 more minutes. (If the breast is getting too dark, cover with tinfoil.) You want the turkey to reach 165 F. Check with your meat thermometer.
NOTES: This stuffed turkey breast has lots of flexability built right into the recipe. Don’t like figs (or don’t have them on hand)? You can use dried apricots, cherries, raisins or prunes. They all work. Don’t like walnuts? Use pine nuts, almonds, hazelnuts or pecans.
When I was making this recipe, I found a fabulous pecan and raisin loaf of bread at the bakery and made a second stuffed breast using that bread and raisins and pecans…delicious! I went with this version for my Thanksgiving Menu for Two since I really loved the sweetness of the figs, but they both worked.
Now, when it comes to preparing your turkey breast, don’t be intimidated. Just cut it in half (but not all the way through) and then pound it to get everything an even thickness. Long before I had a “fancy” meat mallet (LOL), I used a rolling pin or a heavy bottomed skillet to pound the meat…they will all work.
Once you start rolling the breast, you will lose filling. There is no way around it, so don’t panic. I put that and any extra I have into a small ramekin and bake it along side the turkey. That makes for a great side if someone wants extra stuffing.
One last note, you can prepare this and leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before baking it off. Be sure to let it sit out for about 1/2 hour to take the chill off of the meat and get it to room temperature before baking. This way it will roast evenly.