Turketta Recipe: Stuffed And Smoked Turkey Breast

In Italy they serve stuffed hogs called porchetta on special occasions. So don't ask me what possessed me, but one day I took the idea and substituted turkey. The results were very special.

I chose to stuff mine with drunken cranberries, dried cranberries reconstituted with port. But you can stuff it with a bread stuffing, fruit, or whatever moves you.

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Turketta

This is a twist on the Italian porchetta, but with turkey.

Makes. 8 to 10 servings

Takes. 1 hour to prepare and 90 minutes to cook

Special equipment. You'll need some kitchen twine to truss the bird.

Ingredients

1 whole turkey breast, bone in

Simon & Garfunkel Rub

Morton’s coarse kosher salt (read more about the science of salt here)

1 batch drunken cranberries

2 medium onions, chopped into quarters, skin on

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1" chunks

2 stalks of celery, chopped into 1" chunks

1/4 cup dried mushrooms

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup apple juice

2 tablespoons dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried sage

Method

skinning the turkey breasts

1) Prep. Carefully remove the skin from the breast trying to keep it from tearing.

turkey skin for turketta

2) Stretch it out, inside up, on a cutting board and sprinkle the Simon & Garfunkel on it.

removing the tenderloin

3) Remove each breast lobe from the bones by sliding a flexible knife along the keelbone and down the ribs. I use a fileting knife Then flip it over and remove the tenderloin, a muscle that is loosely attached with a thick tough white tendon in it.

removing the tendon from the tenderloins

4) Remove the tendon from the tenderloins and freeze them for another meal. The make a great grilled turkey sandwich.

putting the breasts on the skin

5) Sprinkle salt on both sides of the meat and place the breast lobes on the skin, thin sides overlapping.

stuffing the turketta

6) Pile the stuffing in the middle. Slip butcher twine under the skin, roll it up and tie it off. Try to cover the ends so the stuffing doesn't spill out.

turketta ready to cook

7) Once you have it hogtied, sprinkle on some salt and more rub.

making the gravy

8) Fire up. Chop up the carcass and throw it in a drip pan with any other trim. Add the celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms, herbs, and wine in a drip pan. Fill it up with water or chicken stock. No salt yet. Fire up your smoker or set up your grill in 2 zones. Place the drip pan under the grate on the indirect side and get the temp stabilized at about 325°F in indirect heat.

cooking the turketta

9) Cook. Place the meat above the drip pan on the indirect side, add some wood for smoke, and close the lid. When the meat hits about 150°F, lift out the drip pan, strain it, skim off excess fat, taste the stock, boil it down if you want to concentrate it, and season it with salt only after it is the proper richness.

10) Serve. When the meat hits 160°F, remove it and carve it into 1/2" thick slices. And don't forget to remove the string!

"What is sauce for the goose may be sauce for the gander but is not necessarily sauce for the chicken, the duck, the turkey or the guinea hen."Alice B. Toklas

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