When you roast a whole turkey, there’s always that moment of truth, that first slice of the breast: Will it be juicy and tender or dry and hard to swallow? I admit that over the years, we’ve had some of both in our home.
That’s why the Turkey Porchetta recipe from The Food Lab caught my eye.
It looked so juicy and I loved the idea of all of those little herb pockets. But would it be a fussy process? Really, not too bad. I followed The Food Lab’s process exactly, but used a classic garlic and fresh herb mixture instead of the herbs and spices used to season porchetta.
It’s easiest to start out with a whole bone-in, skin-on turkey breast. Once you’ve removed the skin and each side of the breast, the rest is easy. Just lay the breast halves side by side on the skin, slice a diagonal pattern in them and rub with garlic herb mix.
Roll the meat up in the skin and secure with butcher’s twine, then transfer to the refrigerator for a day or two to let the flavors meld.
A couple of hours before you plan to eat, brown roulade on all sides and then slow-roast for about 2 hours. That’s it. And, for me, the best part of a turkey dinner is the promise of leftovers. And slices of this roulade make incredibly delicious sandwiches the next day.
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole bone-in, skin on turkey breast (4 to 5 pounds), patted dry
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil with a high smoke point such as avocado or canola
Add first 7 ingredients (salt through olive oil) to a small bowl and stir to combine.
Carefully remove skin from turkey breast and lay it flat on a large work surface, like a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice along the ridge of the turkey breast, using the knife and your hands, carefully separate the breast from the bone. Repeat with other breast half. Remove tenderloin from each breast half and reserve for another use.
With your knife, butterfly the thick area on each breast half, leaving the last 1/2-inch connected. Fold out the flap so that the meat is a relatively even thickness.
Lay the half breasts side by side on the skin. Slash meat in a 1-inch diagonal pattern, cutting about 1/2-inch deep into the meat. Rub garlic and herb mixture evenly over the meat, taking care to get it down into the cuts.
Lift an edge of the skin and carefully roll the turkey meat into a tight cylinder. The skin should cover it completely. Tie the roast with 6 or 7 8-inch lengths of butcher's twine. Starting from the outsides and working toward the middle to maintain a consistent shape.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 275°F.
Place oven-safe wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
Season roulade all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add turkey and cook, turning often until all sides are golden brown. Transfer turkey to rack on baking sheet and transfer to oven.
Roast until thickest part of turkey roulade registers 150°F, about 2 hours. Remove from oven and transfer to cutting board. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.