Roasted Turkey Breast with Pancetta and Porcini Stuffing

Roasted Turkey Breast with Pancetta and Porcini Stuffing

I’m not always frugal when it comes to buying good ingredients,  but I don’t like to waste a thing in my kitchen. Ask your butcher to remove the turkey break from the bone, leaving the skin on and reserving the bones for broth. 


4 pound Turkey breast, boned and butterflied, skin on
8 Tablespoons butter, cut into 1 Tablespoon pats
4 large fresh sage leaves
1 Tablespoon Citrus Fennel Salt
1 Teaspoon pepper
3 cups stuffing mixture, see recipe below 


PREPARATION: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

When ready to stuff the breast, open the breast and lay flat, skin side up, on a cutting board. Loosen the skin around the breast and place 4 pats of butter inside each breast. On top of the butter, nicely arrange 2 leaves flat under the skin of each breast. Turn the breast over carefully so it is skin side down. Season the breast meat with half of the Citrus Fennel salt and pepper. Place about 3 cups stuffing on the breast and spread evenly from end to end, leaving 2 inches uncovered on each end. Starting at one end, roll up the turkey breast tightly like a jellyroll. With butcher’s string, tie up the breast tightly from end to end so it stays together and won’t fall apart during cooking. Place in a roasting pan or on a roasting rack. Place in the middle rack of the oven and cook for 15 minutes, until the skin begins to brown. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and continue cooking until the turkey is cooked through. It takes approx. 20 minutes per pound. Check the temperature at least 30 minutes before you think it is done to not accidentally overcook. The internal temperature should read about 165 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven and let the turkey cool before slicing.

To make the pan juices, place the pan over medium heat. Add 2 cups of turkey broth to the pan, scraping up the bits on the bottom with a wooden spatula or spoon. Add the cooked shitake mushrooms {1/2 cup} reserved from the stuffing. Cook the sauce over medium low heat it is reduced to a nicely thick consistency.


Pancetta and Porcini Turkey Stuffing


4 cups of cubed bread, focaccia or a mixture of whole wheat and sour dough.
3 ounces pancetta, cut into small pieces {apple wood bacon is a good substitute}
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter + 2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup diced yellow onion {save the skins for stock}
1 -1/2 cups of chopped celery stalks {use the tender inner stalks and leaves}
1 apple, cored and chopped into a coarse dice (save core for stock)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 jar Bella Cucina Porcini Pesto
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon Wild Oregano & Sage salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Bella Cucina Citrus Fennel Salt
½ cup apple juice
3 cups turkey broth *
1 whole egg



Place the bread stuffing mix into a large bowl.

In a large sauté pan, cook the pancetta with 4 Tablespoons butter over medium low heat until the pancetta fat begins to render out and the butter is melted. Add the onion, celery, apple, sage, garlic, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until the mixture is soft, but not browned, stirring often to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan. When done, remove from the heat and place the mixture in the bowl with the bread stuffing mix. Put the pan back on the stove and heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter. Add the Porcini Pesto, apple juice and turkey or chicken broth. Mix well until the stuffing mixture is well coated. Add an egg and mix well until the egg is incorporated into the mixture. 

Place half of the mixture into an oven-proof baking dish and reserve half for stuffing the turkey breast. Top the stuffing mixture in the baking dish with a few pats of butter. An hour before ready to serve, place the baking dish into a 350 degree oven and cook until the stuffing is warmed and the top is nice and browned, about 35-45 minutes.


Turkey Broth

Place the turkey breast bones on a sheet pan with a few stalks of celery and chopped carrots. Drizzle with a splash of olive oil. Roast the bones until they are browned and the vegetables are caramelized. Remove the pan from the oven and place the bones and vegetables into a stockpot with the shitake mushroom stems*. Add the reserved onion skins and sage stems from the stuffing ingredients {or a quartered yellow onion} and fill the pot with cold water until it generously covers the bones. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat until the broth begins to boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until the liquid reduces by one third. This will take about an hour, depending on your heat. Strain the broth and bones into a colander. Reserve the broth for the dressing and gravy. Don’t disgard the bones! Put them back in the pot, add the cooked vegetables and 1 quart of store-bought organic chicken stock. Cook over medium heat for about an hour. Today’s stock, tomorrow’s soup. Serve with cooked wide-ribbon egg noodles and plenty of buttered bread.



Buon appetito!

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