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When a whole bird is just too much--time and effort, as well as size--there is a quicker, simpler way: what's known in French cuisine as a roulade. Using a boneless turkey breast, butterflied and flattened, you can serve a beautiful spiral of juicy meat and herb-flecked stuffing that cooks in an hour and is a cinch to carve. Here, the turkey braises in thyme-infused apple cider, creating the basis for a savory sweet-tart gravy that gives the dish an elegant finish.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, Fall 2003

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Recipe Summary test

total:
1 hr 45 mins
Servings:
8
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Ingredients

Stuffing
Turkey & gravy

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

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  • To prepare stuffing: Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

  • To prepare turkey: Remove skin from turkey breast and trim off fat. Butterfly the turkey breast. Flatten the turkey breast. Spread the stuffing over the breast and roll the breast up into a cylinder. Secure with kitchen string.

  • Sprinkle the turkey roulade with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the roulade and cook, turning from time to time, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add cider to the skillet and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat.

  • Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the browned turkey roulade. Pour in the cider mixture, then add thyme sprigs (or dried thyme). Cover the pan and transfer it to the oven.

  • Bake the roulade until it is no longer pink inside and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 170 degrees , 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to a carving board, tent with foil and keep warm.

  • To prepare gravy: Strain the liquid from the Dutch oven into a medium saucepan, pressing on the solids. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; cook for 2 to 3 minutes to intensify the flavor. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl; add to the simmering gravy, whisking until lightly thickened. Add sour cream, mustard and lemon juice, whisking until smooth. Season with pepper. Heat through.

  • Remove the string from the roulade. Carve into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with gravy.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 3. Wrap the roulade in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Equipment: Kitchen string

Sparkling or still apple cider, alcoholic (hard) or nonalcoholic (sweet)--all work well in this recipe. Still cider produces a darker gravy with a slightly sweeter flavor.

To make fresh breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice makes about 1/3 cup.

How to butterfly a turkey breast
1. Place the turkey breast on a cutting board. Starting on the rounded side, make a horizontal cut with a chef's knife, about halfway down, to within 1 inch of the other side.
2. Open up the breast. Cover the breast with plastic wrap. Pound with a rolling pin or meat mallet to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Remove plastic wrap.
3. Spread the stuffing over the breast, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Roll the breast up into a cylinder.
4. Secure the roulade by tying it with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals.
Technique
Making a Roulade
This preparation may look advanced, but it is actually quite simple and has numerous advantages. The challenge in roasting a whole turkey is that the breast meat tends to dry out before the leg portion is fully cooked. By cooking the breast alone, you eliminate the different roasting times and take advantage of turkey breast's status as one of the leanest, most economical meats available.
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Just follow this step-by-step cooking lesson for an impressive alternative to the conventional holiday bird.

How to butterfly, stuff & roll a turkey breast
1. Place the turkey breast on a cutting board. Starting on the rounded side, make a horizontal cut with a chef's knife, about halfway down, to within 1 inch of the other side.
2. Open up the breast. Cover the breast with plastic wrap. Pound with a rolling pin or meat mallet to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Remove plastic wrap.
3. Spread the stuffing over the breast, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Roll the breast up into a cylinder.
4. Secure the roulade by tying it with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals.

Nutrition Facts

228 calories; protein 28.6g; carbohydrates 12.9g; dietary fiber 1.7g; sugars 5.9g; fat 6.5g; saturated fat 1.4g; cholesterol 67.6mg; vitamin a iu 229.8IU; vitamin c 7.3mg; folate 21.7mcg; calcium 40.3mg; iron 1.3mg; magnesium 46.8mg; potassium 390.9mg; sodium 358mg; thiamin 0.1mg.
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