Originally posted 11/27/08 and again on 11/13/09.
Not long after our Thanksgiving Day feast in 2008 my daughter referred to it as "the best day of my life". It makes me happy to think about that.
Ina's new book hit the bookstore in late October (2008) and I immediately knew what I was serving for Thanksgiving. I hate the idea of all the waste of a whole turkey, so when I saw this recipe I was in. I visited the local butcher shop and ordered the boned and butterflied turkey breasts and swallowed hard. Abandoning the traditional potato stuffing was a risk. Take a peek at the ingredients here. Best of all, each turkey breast only took two hours to roast. All that white meat... oh it was good.
3/4 cup large-diced dried figs, stems removed
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Calvados or brandy (I used orange juice)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups diced onions (2 onions)
1 cup (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)
3/4 pound pork sausage, casings removed (sweet and hot mixed)
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 cups Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour over the Calvados and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned.
4. Add the figs and cranberries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
5. Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)
6. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan. Lay the butterflied turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board., Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
7. Spread the stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Don't mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place the leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.)
8. Starting at one end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides.
9. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.
10. Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until a thermometer reads 150 degrees in the center. (I test in a few places.)
11. Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.
Hope your Thanksgiving was extra great this year. Mine was.