I love serving wild turkey at our Thanksgiving meal. Since wild turkey is considerably leaner than its barnyard cousin, it can tend to the dry side if overcooked. One of our favorite ways to overcome this is to fillet out one side of a wild turkey breast to form a flat section of meat to stuff, then roll and tie.
Layer the turkey meat with a stuffing of choice, then roll it tightly and tie with butcher’s twine to form a roulade. The turkey can then be roasted or grilled. For this recipe, we roasted it on the rotisserie spit of our Everdure by Heston Blumenthal HUB Charcoal Grill. The adjustable spit height makes it easy to slowly grill the turkey without drying it out. To help keep the turkey moist and to add even more flavor, we brushed it regularly with a mixture of apple cider and soy sauce as it grilled.
The stuffing in this recipe is a mixture of breakfast sausage, cornbread, and fresh cranberries, adding even more traditional Thanksgiving flavor to the dish.
1 pound pork breakfast sausage
1 cup mushrooms of choice, chopped (such as a blend of shiitake and oyster)
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 cups homemade turkey (or commercially made chicken) stock
2 cups cornbread, torn into small bits
Salt and pepper to taste
1 side of a wild turkey gobbler breast, about 2 to 3 pounds
½ cup apple cider
½ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
Start the stuffing by browning 1 pound of pork sausage in a skillet over medium heat. While the sausage browns, add the chopped mushrooms, fresh herbs, and cranberries. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until the sausage is browned through and the mushrooms are soft.
Pour in the stock, stirring well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it thickens and there is no standing moisture left in the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the stuffing to cool.
Add the torn cornbread and stir to blend, allowing the cornbread to soak up any grease from the sausage.
Butterfly the breast by slicing partially through from one side near the top. Turn your knife and cut toward the opposite side, allowing you to fold out the breast like a tri-folded letter. Use a meat mallet to flatten the breast into an even thickness.
Spread a layer of cornbread sausage stuffing down the center of the flattened turkey breast. Roll the turkey breast tightly around the stuffing. Use butcher’s twine to tie the roll tightly.
Place the turkey on a preheated grill over medium to medium-high heat. Mix the mop sauce and brush or mop over the turkey every 10 to 15 minutes. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 145 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Tent the turkey loosely with foil and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting the twine. Serve with your favorite cranberry sauce. I’m partial to this one from Basil & Salt Magazine.
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