“Decadent yet simple turkey breast roulade with a sausage, apple and cranberry stuffing. Think of the best stuffed turkey you ever had, but even better. A holiday feast rolled into one neat, elegant and delicious package.” – Salt Pepper Skillet
2 to 3 lb whole boneless turkey breast (skin on, butterflied)
1 tbsp melted butter
For the Brine
8 c water
1/2 c Diamond kosher salt
1/3 c sugar
4 sage leaves
4 thyme sprigs
1 tsp peppercorns
2 tbsp crushed garlic cloves
For the Stuffing
2 tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz sweet Italian sausage (removed from casings)
1 c diced onion
1 c diced celery (1/4" dice)
Pinch of salt
1 c peeled and diced Granny Smith apple
1/2 c dried cranberries (soaked in hot water for 5 minutes)
2 tsp chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, sage, parsley (1 tsp each, but could be more)
1 1/2 c chicken or turkey stock (low sodium, preferably homemade)
12 oz (4 c) bread stuffing mix
Brine the Breast
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add to a large bowl with the remaining brine ingredients. Stir to completely dissolve. Steep for 10 minutes before adding a 6-cup combination of cold water and ice to the bowl.
Place the turkey breast in the brine and refrigerate for 8 hours.
Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
Make the Stuffing
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown sausage, breaking it apart until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions and celery with a pinch of salt and reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the onions are softened and translucent.
Add the apples, soaked cranberries and chopped fresh herbs. Add the chicken stock, scraping any brown bits off the pan. Then stir in bread stuffing mix. Taste for seasoning. If the stuffing is too dry, add more stock.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly while you prep the turkey.
Make the Roulade
Preheat oven to 350° F on convection, or 375° F if you don't have convection.
Place the butterflied turkey breast between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat pounder until 1/2" thick all the way around.
Brush both sides with melted butter.
Place the breast skin-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Evenly distribute a stuffing layer that is about 1/2" thick over the entire surface of the breast (you will only need about half of the stuffing).
Tightly roll (starting with the smaller side first) until you reach the end.
Tie with butcher twine about every 2" and once longways.
Roast the Roulade
Place in the oven on the middle rack and roast until the internal temperature reaches 165° F, about 75 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan 180° halfway through for even browning.
Optional: Broil for 2-5 minutes to brown the skin at the end of the cook (before it reaches the pull temp).
Remove from oven and rest uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the twine to slice and serve.
Recipe time does not include the 8-hour brine time.
Ask your butcher to butterfly the turkey breasts for you. I found that they are more than happy to do so.
Turkey breast can be prepared and rolled the day before, covered and chilled.
Recipe makes extra stuffing, which you can bake alongside the turkey for 25 to 30 minutes, then uncover for about 5 minutes to brown.
For the stuffing, you want it to be a fine texture, so avoid large pieces of sausage or bread.
Don’t rely on cook time; always rely on internal temperature.
If there are any pan juices, you can add those to your gravy or the extra stuffing.
The turkey skin isn’t going to be as crispy as if you cooked a whole turkey, but it’s important to leave it on to help keep the turkey breast moist while it cooks. If you prefer, you can discard the skin after it rests.
Use convection in your oven if you have it to brown the skin.