Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thanksgiving in May?

This Memorial Day weekend gives me so much to be thankful for! While it is a time to honor and thank all the military and veterans who dedicate themselves to protect our freedom, my kids will finally be out of school for the summer, and my husband will be celebrating another birthday! So, with all this thankfulness over the weekend, I would like to share this recipe for "Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Cornbread Stuffing," from our friend Joshua Bousel of The Meatwave via

This creative recipe may look complicated with the bacon weave and all, but it actually isn't that difficult. I did skip the process of brining the turkey, because in my experience, brining doesn't seem to make that much of a difference and the bacon weave provides enough protection to prevent the turkey from drying out. In addition, I did read reviews that some people had trouble containing the stuffing, so I used toothpicks to seal the ends and tied the whole thing with kitchen twine at about 2" intervals. And finally, the best part of this recipe (besides the opportunity to weave bacon!), is that it can be assembled ahead to be grilled at your leisure. Grilled corn, green salad, and cranberry chutney are perfect accompaniments. It's a festive entree that will give you yet another reason to be thankful!

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Cornbread Stuffing

Serves 8-10 (Note: I halved the recipe to great success, but I am providing the original recipe which is for two turkey breasts.)

For the Brine (optional)
2 quarts ice cold water
1/3 cup Kosher salt
1/4 cup white sugar

2 boneless, skinless turkey breasts (I used 2 turkey breast cutlets instead, to make 1 turkey roll. If making 2 rolls, plan for 2 cutlets per roll and no need to pound it.)

For the Stuffing
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound breakfast sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
1/3 cup finely chopped celery (about 1 small stalk)
1/3 cup peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apple (about 1/2 an apple)
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
3 cups crumbled cornbread
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

24 slices bacon (about 1 1/2 pounds)

For the Brine (optional)
Combine water, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to dissolve. Submerge the turkey breast in brine and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

For the Stuffing
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add in sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add in onions, celery, and apple and cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place sausage mixture in a large bowl along with cornbread, chicken stock, sage, 1 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper. Mix to thoroughly combine.

For the Bacon Weave
Create a bacon weave by laying 6 strips of bacon out horizontally side by side. (I did this on a big piece of plastic wrap.) Interlace 6 more pieces of bacon vertically with horizontal bacon, as you would make a lattice-top pie. Repeat with the remaining 12 slices of bacon to make a second weave.

The Assembly
Remove the turkey breasts from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Butterfly turkey breasts open and pound out to a square of even thickness. Lay each breast on one bacon weave. Spread half of the stuffing in an even thickness over each of the breasts, leaving about 1/2 an inch edge with no stuffing. Roll tightly into a cylinder with bacon on the outside. (I found the plastic wrap made this step much easier!) Wrap turkey rolls tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to firm up, about 1 hour to overnight.

For the Grill
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. (At this point, I removed the turkey roll and the plastic wrap, toothpicked the ends closed, and tied the roll with kitchen twine at about 2" intervals.)

Place turkey rolls on cool side of grill, cover, and cook until an instant read thermometer reads 150 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the turkey.

If bacon has not colored or crisped sufficiently, quickly sear over hot side of grill until desired doneness. Remove from grill and let rest for 15 minutes.

Cut turkey into 3/4" slices and serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment