A really good alternative to chicken is turkey. The problem is we always tend to think of a whole turkey, 15 lbs of raw bird that needs to be dressed, stuffed, baked and sliced. Well a really simple alternative to whole turkey is turkey breast. This recipe uses a boneless skinless turkey breast which has been butterflied, stuffed with a great easy to make leek stuffing rolled, tied and baked. Sounds complicated, it’s not. Just get everything in place before you start.

To butterfly, place the turkey breast on a piece of parchment on top of your meat cutting board. Using a deboning knife or a sharp kitchen knife slice into the side of the breast horizontally – keep your knife level at all times. Work your way through almost the end of the turkey breast without cutting through (google this procedure if you are unfamiliar with it). Open it up like a book. If it is thicker in certain areas, just shave the excess off and add it to a piece that isn’t quite as thick. Place a piece of saran or parchment on top of the breast and, using a rolling pin, pound it or roll it to an even thickness. Pounding it is better – it not only tenderizes your meat, but removes your frustrations as well. If you have no frustrations, then just roll over the meat a few times, then tell me where I can get those drugs you are taking.  🙂

1 turkey breast, boneless and skinless (about 500g or so)
2 leeks (mostly white parts), cut thinly and washed well – it’s okay if there is water on the leeks when they go into the pan with oil, just watch for the sputtering
1/2 cup feta, goat cheese or grated gruyere
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp cayenne
Salt, pepper to taste
Olive oil
Butcher’s Twine 6 pieces, about 12″ each – get the thicker twine as the thinner one will probably cut through the meat.

Soften the leeks in some olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, season with salt and pepper (about 5 minutes)
Add the cheese to the pan and stir into the mixture to soften and distribute evenly, sprinkle the thyme – stir the mixture, let cool
Season the breast (still on the parchment paper) with salt and pepper – you could also add a touch of smoked paprika, some freshly zested garlic, some harissa paste or even some sambal to the breast as well – use your imagination and liven your taste buds
Add the leek mixture and spread evenly leaving a 1″ border along the edges free of stuffing – don’t add too much as it will be hard to roll and you risk it oozing out the side, not an entirely bad thing. It would be better if you just ate the excess leeks with the turkey roulade (pictured below).
Using the parchment paper under the turkey breast as the guide, roll the meat up tightly – the tighter the better. This is the fiddly part but spend more time on this than anywhere else if you want this to bake evenly
Once rolled up, take a piece of twine slide it under the rolled meat to the center and tie it up on top. Repeat this until the entire roll is secured
Using the same leek pan, add a little olive oil and over medium heat, sear the surface of the meat until it is has formed a nice crust
Put it in the pan in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until cooked through – you should take the internal temperature (170f) but it is a bit tricky to get the thermometer end into a piece of meat and not the stuffing – which will give you an incorrect reading.
Remove the turkey from the oven, tent it with foil for about 5 minutes, remove the strings and slice on the bias. If when you slice it, it is still a bit raw (it might be in the thickest portions), just put those portions back in the pan and back into the oven for a further 5 minutes or so until cooked through.  Serve with stewed cabbage, green beans, tossed salad or some pasta.  To make it a more elegant offering and add an extra touch of flair, if there is any liquid/gravy left  in the roasting pan, add some cream and stir, add a tablespoon of butter to it and stir – then serve it as a sauce spooned over the cut slices. 
As always – enjoy!

Turkey Roulade 2

Turkey Roulade from the oven onto a cutting board.

Turkey Roulade 4

Sliced Turkey Roulade


Turkey Roulade with Mango Chutney, Leek Stuffing and Stewed Cabbage.

Turkey Roulade with Mango Chutney, Leek Stuffing and Stewed Cabbage.