Pretty Bird has wanted me to do a Turkey Roulade for a while now. It’s one of those awesome dishes that is infinitely versatile, always impressive both visually and flavor-wise. Best of all, its pretty easy to make. Fortunately, we had both a turkey boob and a large hunk of turkey skin in our freezer from our Turkey Demo, as well as family coming into town. It was time!
One of the best things about Roulades are the fact that you can use virtually any meat, AND anything for the stuffing. In this case we decided to use turkey and a dried tomato pesto that I whipped up from tomatoes and peppers we had dried this fall. First step, prepare the turkey!!
I find it helpful to butterfly the turkey breast first before I pound it. If you have a breast with the tenderloin still attached, open it like a book so the thinner loin is laying next to the thicker boob. Then using a nice, sharp knife gently slice the boob in half, being careful not to cut all the way through it.
Now comes the fun part. This turkey breast is still far to thick for easy rolling, and too uneven for even cooking. There is only one thing to do–beat it into submission!!! I’m sure you’ve all seen cooking shows where they’ve done this. They use cube meat hammers and insist you need one if you want to pound out meat. They’re wrong. You can use anything from a small sauce pan to a rubber mallet to a plain ol’ ordinary claw hammer, just as long as you can swing it and smash it into the meat!
Before you begin, do yourself a favor and cover the turkey with at least one layer of plastic wrap. This keeps the meat off your hammer, the hammer off your meat and little bits of turkey from flying all over your kitchen. Pound away!!
I find it best to use the flat side of the hammer, but do whatever feels comfortable for you. You’re looking for the meat to be about 1/4 – 1/3 of an inch thick, depending on how bad your boss pissed you off or how frustrating your spouse/children are being at the moment. Try to pound it out as evenly as possible. When it’s all done, take a deep, cleansing breath.
Your turkey breast should look something like this.
It is now time to add the filling. Slather it on as thick as you think you can get away with, I was pretty generous with the pesto.
The way that I rolled this boob was I had it on the counter in a roughly rectangle shape as you can see above. Position yourself at one of the short sides of the rectangle. No matter how hard you try to keep things even, chances are one of the ends will be a little thinner than the other, that’s the end to start rolling from. Tuck the turkey under itself as you roll, trying your best to keep it tight, even and the outside as clean as you can. Don’t worry if you can’t keep the outside spotless, just do your best. Here’s what mine wound up looking like.
Here comes another of my tricks. Way back when I did that boning demo, I removed a large piece of skin from off the front of the bird and froze it, this is what I was saving it for. Take the piece of skin and lay it as flat as possible on the counter, then roll up the boob in the skin.
Now it’s time to cook the thing. Get a frying pan nice and hot. Put the breast in SEAM SIDE DOWN. This keeps the skin from unraveling as it cooks and shrinks. Keep it there until it’s a light golden brown. Then flip it over and do the other side.
Put the breast into a deep baking pan and bake it at 350 for about 25-35 minutes. Then crank your oven up to 425 and roast until the the skin is a deep golden brown and it has an internal temperature of 165-170. Slice and enjoy!
I teamed this roulade up with some flash-fried asian style brussel sprouts. A good meal was had by all!