Turkey Roulade with Italian Sausage,
Raisins, and Pine Nut Stuffing
A stuffed turkey breast is a nice dish to serve for a dinner party, a buffet, or a small Thanksgiving or holiday feast. This turkey breast is butterflied and filled with a wonderful sweet and savory stuffing of bread, Italian sausage, golden raisins, pine nuts, and grated Parmesan cheese.
Half of a turkey breast, about 2 pounds
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
6 ounces Italian sausage, removed from casings
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 cup cubed bread stuffing mix * (see note below)
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/4 cups chicken broth, divided
Salt and pepper
To butterfly the turkey breast:
Use a chef’s knife and your fingers to remove skin from breast, reserving skin.
Turn the breast over (so the side that had skin is facing down), and lay it flat on the cutting board. Hold the blade of the knife parallel to the board, about halfway down. Slice into the thickest portion of the breast, along the length of the breast, but not all the way through. Unfold so the turkey opens like a book. Remove the tough piece of cartilage. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap.
Pound with a meat mallet until the turkey is of uniform thickness (about 1/2 inch).
To make the stuffing:
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces. Cook the sausage, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes. Add the raisins and cook for another minute or two. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow to cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts, egg, and Parmesan cheese. Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth to moisten the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the turkey breast on a cutting board. Spread the stuffing evenly over the breast. Starting with the longer edge of the breast, roll like a jelly roll. Place the reserved turkey skin over the roll and tie the roll firmly with twine. Spread the remaining butter over the top of the turkey roll. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the roulade on a rack in roasting pan. Pour the remaining cup of chicken broth in the bottom of the pan. Roast, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 160° F., about 1 hour. Transfer the roulade to a cutting board, and cover loosely with foil, while you make the sauce.
To make the sauce:
In a saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until the mixture begins to turn a light caramel color, about 3 minutes, Add the juices from the roasting pan. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, lower heat, and simmer for 1 minute. Add additional chicken broth if the sauce is thicker than you like. Carve the turkey roulades into 1-inch thick slices and serve with the sauce.
NOTE: I use Pepperidge Farm Country Style Stuffing Mix, which has a combination of white and whole wheat bread. You can also cut a loaf of country-style or sourdough bread into 1/2 inch cubes and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes to dry in place of the packaged stuffing mix.
ITALIAN THANKSGIVING DINNER > TURKEY ROULADE WITH SAUSAGE, RAISINS, AND PINE NUTS
PINE NUTS (PIGNOLI)
The pine nut is actually the tiny, cream-colored seed of a certain species of pine tree. Pine nuts , sold shelled, raw or roasted, have a rich buttery flavor and add a nice crunch to many foods, included baked goods, pasta, and salads.
Some simple ways to enjoy pine nuts:
1. Add toasted pine nuts to salads
2. Sprinkle into soups for added crunch
3. Include in pancake and waffle batters
4. Sprinkle on vegetable pizzas
5. Add to pasta dishes
CREATE A CENTERPIECE
A hollowed out pumpkin is a nice place to tuck a small pot of mums or an arrangement of fresh or dried flowers. For fresh flowers, place a glass of water inside to hold the stems. For dried flowers, a little bit of sand in the bottom of the pumpkin will help stabilize them.
Use miniature pumpkins to create votive candle holders.