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Turkey Breast with Sausage & Cherry Stuffing and Grenache

Stuffed Turkey Breast

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For the stuffing (makes about 2 cups)

2 cups of cubes from a loaf of Italian rustic bread (trimmed of crust)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small red onion very thinly sliced – about ¾ cup

2 small garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

6 ounces of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (1 ½ links)

1/3 cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped dried sour cherries

1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/3 cup chicken stock

3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the turkey

1 boneless turkey breast half (2 ½ to 3 lbs.)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Sausage and Sour Cherry Stuffing

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature

Preparation – Stuffing

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let stand to cool.

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, then heat the oil. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion s translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add sausage and cook, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, until cooked through, 3 – 5 minutes.  Stir in cherries and rosemary, and cook 1 minute more.  Pour in the stock and stir to combine, then stir in bread, making sure all parts are moistened with liquid.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley.  Adjust seasoning as needed before moving on to the turkey recipe.

Preparation – Turkey Breast

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Use a slicing knife and your fingers to remove the skin from the breast, reserving skin. Turn the breast over (so the side that had the skin is facing down), and lay it flat on the cutting board. Holding the blade of the knife parallel to the board, about halfway down, slice into the thickest portion of the breast. Cut along the length of the breast, but not all the way through. Unfold so the turkey opens like a book. Remove the tough piece of cartilage. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until the turkey is of uniform thickness (about 1/2 inch). Season with salt and pepper.

Spread stuffing evenly (about 3/4 inch thick) over turkey, leaving a 1-inch border. Starting with one short end, roll into a log, completely enclosing the stuffing, and wrap the reserved skin around the breast, over the seam. Season all over with salt and pepper. Roll in a piece of cheesecloth, and secure both ends with kitchen twine. Tie twine around the roast in four evenly spaced intervals, then rub butter evenly all over the cloth.

Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle registers 155 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes (the internal temperature should rise to 165 degrees).

Remove cheesecloth and twine, then place turkey on a cutting board and slice crosswise about 3/4 inch thick.

Pairs well with Iron Hub Grenache.

Notes: You can purchase a half turkey breast or a whole turkey breast.  If you use a whole turkey breast, double the stuffing recipe.

A butcher can butterfly a fresh turkey breast for you, but you are on your own if you purchase a frozen one.  However, there are a few very good videos on YouTube that show you how to do it.  I purchased a whole, frozen turkey breast (about 7 lbs.) and it took me about 20 minutes to butterfly it.  I suggest that you split it to make two small half breasts after you bone it.