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Tuscan Turkey Roulade

A turkey breast layered with caramelized onions, fennel seeds, fresh herbs, and pancetta then rolled and roasted. This beautiful turkey roulade is a Thanksgiving showstopper. 

Tuscan Turkey Roulade

I always roast a whole turkey for the holidays but this year I wanted to try something new and different. I found a wonderful recipe in Ina Garten’s Modern Comfort Food cookbook for a Tuscan Turkey Roulade that looked fairly easy to make and it was a real beauty. I followed the recipe as written but I had trouble tying up the roast for some reason–it worked out just fine but it didn’t look very pretty. To be honest, I couldn’t believe how tender and juicy this turkey breast turned out! The combination of flavors from the filling and the meat was absolutely delicious and I was surprised at how much I loved the little bits of fennel seeds. We all agreed that this turkey roulade would be a wonderful addition to any holiday meal–especially if it’s just a small gathering. The turkey paired very nicely with some buttery herb stuffing, lemon butter green beans with parmesan, and homemade cranberry sauce.

How to Make a Tuscan Turkey Roulade

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-sized saute pan. Add the onion and fennel seeds and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the sage and rosemary; mix until well combined then set it aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, open the turkey breast on a cutting board with the skin side down. Sprinkle the meat with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  When the onion mixture is cool, spread it evenly on the meat, next layer the prosciutto, then sprinkle the grated butter evenly over the top.  Side Note: A whole turkey breast refers to the two breasts of one turkey, with the skin connecting them.

Tuscan Turkey Roulade

Starting at one long end of the turkey breast, roll the meat up jelly-roll style to make a compact cylindrical roulade, ending with the seam side down. Tie the roulade tightly with kitchen twine at 2-inch intervals to ensure that it will roast evenly. Slip some whole sage leaves under the twin down the center of the roulade if you desire.

Place the roulade, seam side down, in a roasting pan, and pat the skin dry with paper towels. Brush the skin with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Pour the wine and water in the roasting pan (not over the turkey).

Roast for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours, until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature is 150 degrees. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with a tin foil tent, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the string and slice crosswise and serve warm with pan juices, if desired. Enjoy.

Tuscan Turkey Roulade

Tuscan Turkey Roulade

Tuscan Turkey Roulade

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Author: Adapted by Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original by Ina Garten

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped, + 4-5 whole sage leaves
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 4-5 lb whole turkey breast, butterflied with skin on **A whole breast refers to two breasts of one turkey, with the skin connecting them.
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, grated **Grate butter on a box grater
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-sized saute pan. Add the onion and fennel seeds and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the sage and rosemary; mix until well combined then set it aside to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, open the turkey breast on a cutting board with the skin side down. Sprinkle the meat with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  When the onion mixture is cool, spread it evenly on the meat, next layer the prosciutto, then sprinkle the grated butter evenly over the top.  Side Note: A whole turkey breast refers to the two breasts of one turkey, with the skin connecting them.
  • Starting at one long end of the turkey breast, roll the meat up jelly-roll style to make a compact cylindrical roulade, ending with the seam side down. Tie the roulade tightly with kitchen twine at 2-inch intervals to ensure that it will roast evenly. Slip some whole sage leaves under the twin down the center of the roulade if you desire. 
  • Place the roulade, seam side down, in a roasting pan, and pat the skin dry with paper towels. Brush the skin with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Pour the wine and water in the roasting pan (not over the turkey). 
  • Roast for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours, until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature is 150 degrees. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with a tin foil tent, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the string and slice crosswise and serve warm with pan juices, if desired. Enjoy.
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