Contains nuts and dairy
A whole turkey on Christmas Day can be great, but unless you are feeding an army, you can be left with kilos of leftover turkey meat. A fantastic alternative is rolled turkey breast.
The turkey could be one of several main dishes to adorn the Christmas table. Mix it up with fresh seafood, a lentil salad, or some barbecued meat.
A turkey breast can be sold as a single boned breast (as pictured here). From a local butcher, this can weigh a kilo and would feed about 4-6 people. You could also get both breasts (the crown) to create a much bigger turkey roll.
Some friendly butchers may be happy for you to give him your homemade stuffing and roll and string the turkey breast for you. However, we have given detailed instructions below on how to successfully, and quite easily, roll your own! (You can also find plenty of tutorial videos online. Don’t be scared!)
If you have any stuffing left over, simply bake it in an oven dish to serve with the meal.
- Free-range turkey breast (see note above)
- 20g - butter
- 1 - onion, finely diced
- 2cup - fresh sourdough or wholemeal breadcrumbs (whiz in a processor)
- 125g - skinned, roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 4 - fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
- Lay the turkey breast skin side down on a chopping board.
- Use a knife to cut the breast on its thickest part horizontally – taking care not to cut all the way through – and lift the flap you’ve just cut over like you’re turning the page of a book.
- Put a piece of cling film, wax paper or reusable alternative over the meat and use a mallet or rolling pin to thin the breast out and create a more even surface.
- Slash the meat in a criss-cross fashion to help the stuffing infuse the meat. Set aside and leave to come to room temperature while you prepare the stuffing.
- Heat the butter in a medium frying pan, and when sizzling, add the onion and turn the temperature down to low. Cook gently for 5-10 minutes until softened, then add the remaining ingredients. Stir well to coat, then turn the heat off.
- Cut 6-8 pieces of cooking string and lay them on the kitchen bench next to your turkey breast.
- Spread the stuffing over the breast – pushing it into the slashes you made. Don’t overfill or feel you need to use all the stuffing up – just get a nice thin even coating.
- Roll the turkey breast in a log along its longest side then sit it on the board, seam down.
- Start at each end of the log and tie it together at 5 cm intervals, working your way towards the centre.
- Lift into a roasting tray, pour a cup of water into the bottom, then roast according to the guide below. We found 1 kilogram took exactly one hour. You can test if it’s cooked by poking a skewer or sharp knife into the thickest part of the roll and if the juices run clear it can come out of the oven.
- Once cooked, let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving with your favourite roast vegetables and gravy.
Guide to cooking turkey breast: 15 minutes per 450 grams, plus 20 minutes extra