Turkey Stuffed with Chestnuts and Prunes

author: steveandsarah

created: 2006-12-19 02:10:53

servings: 8-12


This is from Mario Batali's _Holiday Food_. It's a bit "cheffy" in that the preparation is a bit fussy, fiddly, and stress-inducing. (In particular, I remember rolling the turkey breasts "like a jellyroll" being a 2 person job.) However, once it's in the oven, you can relax: it only takes an hour to cook, it's super-easy to carve, it looks beautiful, and it's delicious enough that we've made it twice in a row for Christmas dinner. Or perhaps a more convincing testament is that my brother has eaten it two years in a row and wants to make it himself this year, which is why I'm posting the recipe.


1 whole turkey breast, boned, halved, and butterflied by your butcher, 5-6 pounds total Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup 1/2 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 11/2 pounds ground pork shoulder 10 prunes, pitted and quartered 12 chestnuts, roasted, peeled, and halved 2 cups fresh bread crumbs 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano 2 eggs 2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper freshly grated nutmeg 1 tbsp. each chopped fresh rosemary and sage 3 cups dry white wine Pound the butterflied breasts to flatten, then season with salt and pepper and refrigerate. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a 12-14 inch saute pan, heat 3 tbsp. of the oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown, 7-9 minutes. Add the pork and cook until it starts to brown in its own fat, about 25 minutes, stirring regularly. Drain all but 4 tbsp. of the fat from the pan and add the prunes and chestnuts. Continue cooking for 8 minutes, until the prunes really start to soften. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 20 minutes. Add the bread crumbs, Parmigiano, eggs, pepper, nutmeg, and herbs and just bring together, stirring with your hand. (Overmixing here can result in a lead torpedo for a stuffing, so don't do it.) Place the two turkey pieces on a cutting board skin side down and divide the stuffing between them. [I remember we always have too much stuffing; we just baked the rest in a dish] Roll each of the breasts like a jellyroll and tie them firmly in several places with butcher's twine. Place the two rolls on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up. Pour 2 cups of the wine over them, season with salt and pepper, and roast until dark golden brown outside and a meat thermometer reads 165 at the fattest part of the breast, about 1 hour, plus or minus 10 minutes. Remove and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving. Add the remaining cup of wine to the roasting pan and deglaze, scraping with a wooden spoon. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Shake the pan to emulsify the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Carve the roast into 1/2 inch slices and drizzle with the pan sauce.