RECIPE

Spit-Roasted Turkey Breast Porchetta-Style

Mario Batali has shared this creative turkey recipe with us from his book, Italian Grill!

Butterflying a boneless turkey breast is not difficult, but your butcher will be happy to do this for you if you show him or her this recipe. This porky version of roasted turkey will definitely change your expectations for turkey flavor forever. Be sure not to overcook the turkey and let it rest so the juices are reabsorbed throughout the breast.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausages, removed from casings
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 3 cups bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One boneless half breast of turkey (3-4-pounds)

Preparation

In a 10-12-inch sauté pan, combine 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the sausages and cook over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up the clumps of sausage until all the pink is gone, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, shallots, garlic and fennel seeds and cook until the onion and shallots are softened, 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the cubes of bread with the sautéed onion mixture, then add the chicken broth and toss to moisten all the bread. Add the egg, thyme, rosemary and salt and pepper, to taste and mix well. Cover the stuffing and refrigerate until completely cool.

Butterfly the turkey breast, leaving the skin on: using a sharp knife, starting from the thinner long side, cut the breast horizontally in half almost, but not all the way, through and open it up like a book. Pound it lightly with a meat mallet to even the thickness and shape. Season with salt and pepper and set aside on a platter.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for rotisserie cooking over indirect medium heat (or according to the instructions for your grill). Set up the drip pan under the center of the spit.

Cut three or four long pieces of kitchen twine. Spread the stuffing evenly over the turkey breast. Starting from a long side, roll it up like a jelly roll and tie in several places with the twine. Brush all over with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Place the turkey breast on the spit and secure it with the clamps. Attach the spit to the rotisserie mechanism, cover the grill and cook the turkey breast for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part reaches 155-160°F.

Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let it stand for 10 minutes before carving into generous slices.

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