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Stuffed Turkey Breast--struggle and success

GretlGretl Posts: 670
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hi all,
I prepared a stuffed turkey breast yesterday which was a pretty nasty mess to begin with, but ended up really tasty. Here's what I did.[p]I had a whole bone-in turkey breast that I cut into two boneless pieces; with the meat-side up, I cut along each side of the breastbone, leaving the skin on each side, removed the wishbone, and scraped as much meat as I could off the ribs. This gave me two sort of ear-shaped pieces. I froze one, and brined the other for about 12 hours in a simple salt/sugar solution. The meat weighed about 2 1/2 lbs. I boiled the bones for stock, so I used up everything. [p]After brining, I rinsed and dried the meat and with the skin side down, curve to the right, I sliced it nearly in two with the knife parallel to the cutting board. Then I opened it out like a book. I pounded it between two pieces of waxed paper until it looked pretty nasty; like a road kill. Anyway, at this point, it measured about 8 1/2 x 14 inches and was about...I'm guessing...1/4 inch thick.[p]For the stuffing:
1/4 c finely chopped onion (one-fourth of an onion)
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1/4 t dried sage (I used a large pinch and didn't measure exactly)
1/4 t herbes de provence (ditto above)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 T vermouth (or dry white wine); more if needed
1/4 c fresh bread crumbs (or cracker crumbs)
1 egg, beaten[p]Heat the oil and butter in a small skillet until butter melts. Add the onion and cook until transparent. Add the garlic, spinach, seasonings, and vermouth and cook until most of the moisture has cooked away; the mixture shouldn't be too dry, but not wet, either. Cool the mixture, and add it to the beaten egg and crumbs. Mix well.[p]With the skin-side down, spread the stuffing over the meat to cover the whole surfact up to within an inch of the edge on one side. Roll up from the opposite side, ending with that edge. The result should be a nice fat roll about 8 1/2 inches wide and about 4 inches thick. The skin should cover at least the top half; there wasn't enough skin to wrap around the whole roll.[p]Now the hairy part. Keeping the darn thing together. I had a piece of netting the butcher gave me. I was alone, and honestly it was like wrestling someone really fat into small panythose. I tried MANY times to get it to work and nearly gave up. Because I was alone, I used my full range of vocabulary words. Ultimately, I string tied it first to hold it together, then was able to open the netting sufficiently over my hands to push it through. Miraculously, it worked. I slathered it with olive oil and dusted it liberally with Ken Stones awesome Gilded Splinters rub.[p]I had the small Egg going to about 400. I set the turkey roll on a small rack sitting directly on a pie plate drip pan with some water to keep the drippings from burning. I added a half an onion directly to the coals before putting the meat in to roast; this smelled great. Keeping the temperature at about 375, it took longer than I thought for the meat to get done. A bit over 2 hours. I pulled it at 165 and let it rest for about 20 minutes.[p]The netting was easy to remove, and the turkey sliced beautifully. It was marbled with lovely green stuffing, just enough in each piece, and it looked very pretty. Next time, I'll try adding some toasted pine nuts just for the heck of it. I didn't make gravy. The meat was very moist and tender, so it didn't really need it. [p]Next time I make it, I think I'll arrange the slices on a platter and drizzle some good barbecue sauce over it (like Big Chief from Ken!). Or I'll make it Italian and add some parmesan to the stuffing and spoon some good marinara sauce over it. Or...go Oriental and use a little cooked rice instead of crumbs, add some grated ginger and sesame oil to the stuffing, and drizzle the finished slices with a teriyaki or yakitori sauce. This is fun. I'll definitely prepare this again. BUT I'll have someone around to help get that freakin' netting on![p]Cheers,
Gretl

Comments

  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Gretl,
    It sounds like the finished dish was worth the effort. That stuffing would go good lots of places!
    Thanks for the testimonial. It means a lot, coming from such an accomplished cook.[p]Ken

  • Gretl, yep, trying to stuff meat into the netting is a real challenge. Someone suggested taking one of those flexable plastic cutting boards and rolling it up into a cone shape. Pull the net up on the narrow end like a sock(outer end tied), then force your stuffed turkey breast, chicken breast, or even bacon wrapped porkloin down the funnel and into the net. It should work and maybe save on the wrestling and may allow saving of the really good cuss words for something more appropriate.

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    K.O.C.,
    Believe me, there was NOTHING more appropriate! The flexible cutting board tip sound very good. If I had a helper, one set of hands could have held the netting open while the other put the filling in. Heck, I was even wishing I had a shoehorn, for heaven's sake. I'll try the cutting board suggestion. Thanks!
    Cheers,
    Gretl

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    BlueSmoke,
    Thanks for the great compliments, and for the great condiments!
    Cheers,
    Gretl[p]p.s. Pork loin would be very good with these types of stuffings and is probably much easier to handle than turkey breast.

  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Gretl,
    Once upon a long time ago, I netted a boned turkey breast. After a lot of Keystone Kops activity, I netted it in the sink (where it couldn't escape), by tying off one end of the netting tube and rolling the open end down so I could roll it back up over the breast (like I've seen ladies put on nylons in the movies). Secondary advantage to the sink: it simplifies cleanup.
    Next pork loin I do, I'm starting from your recipe. It sures plays good on my mental taster.

  • Gretl,[p]I was just thinking... I never tried this... but I wonder if you could wrap it up in plastic wrap... insert into the mesh... and then pull the wrap off leaving the meat in the mesh netting. Maybe a little oil spray on the plastic wrap to lubricate it a bit. [p]Just a thought for next time. [p]Happy Egging... BB

  • RhumAndJerk,[p]There you go... even better ! :)[p]Happy Egging... BB

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    BlueSmoke,
    Picture the shower scene from Psycho. Hear the violins shrieking? You got it. I danced around the entire kitchen with this beast. Plus, I had a short piece of netting, which made it even tougher to deal with. And yes, I'll do it again. How dumb am I? Wait, don't answer that!

  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    BB,
    Thank you for your suggestions, but I tried both plastic wrap and waxed paper. To no avail. And because the netting does a good job of holding snug, I was pretty sure that even if I did succeed, I wouldn't be able to get all the plastic/waxed paper out and then I would really be up the creek. I could probably do a pretty fair job tying it but I absolutely love the idea of using the netting. In theory, that is.
    Cheers,
    Gretl

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