A Turkey-Alternative: Stuffed Breasts

Stuffed Turkey Breasts

I got over wanting to make a traditional Thanksgiving turkey a long time ago. When we have guests on Thanksgiving, I’m always sure to offer them the traditional spread: stuffing, potatoes, gravy, pie and of course, turkey. It’s what they usually expect and I hate to disappoint. But if it’s just the two of us, I would rather forgo the whole turkey and go a different route.

I realized a few years ago that when all the parts of the turkey are broken down, it’s the breast meat that goes first. Turkey legs and wings tend to be too tough with very little meat to gnaw off. The underside is too bony. And disposing of a whole turkey carcass after consuming all the desirable meat is always a ghastly experience. So this year I decided 1) we were going to have Turkey Day early; and 2) we were only cooking turkey breasts. In the end I’m not missing out in the turkey eating experience but eating what I really want to eat on Thanksgiving day.

Cooking turkey breasts solo with only salt and pepper as seasoning was not an option. Seriously, how boring would that be??? Instead, I opted for stuffed breasts. Now get your head out of the gutter because I’m not talking about those stuffed breasts, I’m taking about turkey breasts rolled with stuffing and bacon. Sure I can call it turkey rolls or even a fancy name like turkey roulade but I like to use double entendres (when possible) in naming my food creations.

Turkey stuffing

The toughest part of this recipe is the actual rolling of the turkey breast. After the turkey tenderloin has been split and pounded, it’s rolled up with a piece of slightly cooked bacon and the stuffing of your choice. Sure, the bacon can be wrapped on the outside, I prefer having it hidden inside the turkey for added flavor. Be sure to baste the turkey every 15 minutes with butter for a nice even glow.

Stuffed Turkey Breasts

Serves four

4 turkey breasts, split and pounded thin
2 cups cooked stuffing of your choice
8 strips of bacon, cooked but still limp
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

On a large cutting board lay one turkey breast flat. Season with salt and pepper. Add two strips of bacon and 1/4 cup of stuffing with about an inch from the end of the turkey. Tightly roll up and secure using toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining turkey breasts. Season with salt and pepper and generously baste with melted butter.

Place in oven and bake for 55 minutes or until internal temperate reads 155 degrees F.

Let it rest for 10 minutes. Remove toothpicks. Slice and serve immediately.

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