Turkey Breast Stuffed with Herbs and Pancetta

This is the moistest way to cook turkey breast. The rosemary lightly perfumes the meat. If you don't have fresh rosemary use fresh thyme. The turkey left overs are perfect for a picnic in the vineyards with a loaf of bread and a riesling.

Serves 6

1 whole or half organic turkey breast (about 3 pounds), boneless and skinless
6 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/8-inch thin
3 ounces ham, sliced 1/4-inch thin
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
3 leaves sage (optional), fresh or under salt
5 black peppercorns
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

1. Place the breast on a cutting board and butterfly it: slice horizontally lengthwise through the breast from one end to the other, being careful to keep attached. Open it up like a book into one long thin slice. Pound lightly to make it more even in thickness. Season with salt, pepper and sage.

2. Line the inside with 1/2 of the pancetta and all of the boiled ham. Sprinkle the breast with one teaspoon of the rosemary leaves, and peppercorns.

3. Roll up the turkey breast like a jelly roll and cover with the remaining pancetta. Tie with butchers twine to keep it's shape; place it on aluminum foil. Sprinkle the outside of the roll with the 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves, sage leaves, salt, and pepper. Then wrap the rolled breast in the foil and place it in a baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes (the internal temperature should reach 150-degrees).

4. Then remove from the oven and let rest in a warm place for 20 minutes. Unwrap the aluminum foil and slice into 1/2-inch slices like a meat loaf. Arrange the slices on the serving dish pour over any pan drippings. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Adapted from The Fine Art of Italian Cooking, Giuliano Bugialli, 1978.
©Julie Logue-Riordan 2009

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Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie