Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Stuffed Hasselback Turkey Breast – A Little Thanksgiving

Everyone loves a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings, but because of the time and work involved, we usually only get to enjoy it once a year on Thanksgiving. So, what if we create a second holiday, called “Little Thanksgiving,” and feature this smaller, and much easier, Hasselback turkey? 

By the way, when I say easier, that assumes we’ve figured out how to carve it significantly better than I demonstrated in the video.

A thinner, more flexible knife would have been much better, as well as just slicing off one section at a time. I may try another one, but before stuffing, I'll go around the outside edge of the breast with a knife, cutting in about an inch, where it attaches to the bone. This would still leave most of the meat attached at the center, and probably make slicing simpler.

I guess we could try using a boneless breast, but I really think the ribcage is important for keeping the meat, if you’ll pardon the expression, moist. If you’ve tried this sans bones, please let me know how it came out. Regardless, since these breasts can really vary in size, be sure to use a thermometer to check doneness. So, whether you do this for regular Thanksgiving, or that new “Little Thanksgiving” everyone is talking about, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large or 4 smaller portions:
one 2 to 3 pound split turkey breast, bone in, skin on
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon melted butter for brushing on before roasting
For the very basic stuffing:
2 cups small dry bread cubes
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (dried sage, rosemary, and thyme)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper and cayenne to taste
1/2 cup diced onion and 1/2 cup diced celery sautéed in butter until golden
1 cup hot chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 large egg yolk

NOTE: In the video I said to roast at 350 F., to an internal temp of 150 F., but in hindsight, I’m thinking that a 375 F. oven would work better.

For the stuffing, try these recipes, and cook the extra mixture in a pan alongside your Hasselback Turkey Breast.


Jeff in Philly said...

I'd like to serve this table-side so I might try a boneless breast sliced down carefully to avoid the carving challenge. A little extra butter should keep it moist. Thanks Chef John!

Charging Rhino said...

I'm thinking a nice boneless breast and a few well-placed skewers. Now, should it be partially-sliced or through-sliced and re-stacked? Or, maybe through-sliced sans-skewers and tightly-wrapped in a well-buttered cheesecloth to retain it's round-shape?

Ettore Namias said...

I work with dinner of those y2k kids. I'm be sure to say moist a lot more often :)
I'm sure going to make this soon as I see a turkey boob on sale.

bdwilcox said...

Those pockets of stuffing are begging for a strip of bacon over each.

inchrisin said...

Thank you John!

The next turkey I buy is going to get Hasselbacked.

Also, you're making me want to revamp my meatloaf with stuffing. Some of those shots look like a meatloaf (In all the right ways, of course!)

Can't wait to try some of this.

Julie said...

Just wondering if it matters whether the breast is still attached to the carcass to reap the benefits of being cooked 'on the bone'? I might try removing the breast before cutting and stuffing, then sitting it atop the bone for roasting. (Maybe wrapping some kitchen twine around the circumference to hold it together?) It would certainly fix the carving problem. Just a thought.

bjatduke said...

I absolutely love the fact that you left the "butchering" portion of the video. Gave me a nice chuckle.

Devilsedge said...

pls pass the dark meat :)

Paul Houston said...

I can't wait to try this, might brining the breast also help with keeping it moist?

Cassandra Schrow said...

Dunno where else to leave this request, but you should totally make a video for the renaissance turkey legs (like the ones from king richard's faire) and videos for "college kids" who can't afford a bunch of things but pull some common kitchen items together for a solid meal.

Dave said...

Mozzarella Cheese stick recipe please?

I am going home for Christmas and will be home for a month and am planning on cooking a bunch of your recipes for my family to try as appetizers (while my wonderful mom who loves cooking provides the main courses.) Would love to try one of my favorite fast/comfort foods, the mozz stick!

Jean Eno said...

"Moist, moist, moist." lol

rodentraiser said...

Breadcrumbs and meat, soooo...basically, turkey meatloaf?

Just kidding - this looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. Thanks, Chef John!

Ellen said...

Well, I think that this looks pretty great. I'm raising three turkeys right now and will definitely try this. I am curious, though, how it might work with a boneless breast so that the carving part is simpler. I imagine the main challenge would be to be careful to not cut all the way through the breast when prepping for stuffing. I'll try it both ways to test it out. Thanks for a great idea!

William DiStefano said...

Its been a while since this came out but I'd been thinking about it since I first saw it and HAD to make it... its in the oven now and the dogs are circling the kitchen like furry sharks thanks to the delicious smell.

I didn't use a boneless breast, however, I did use the full front of the turkey that they sell these days and it afforded me a couple of extra things that were worth mentioning. It does look pretty impressive coming out of the oven for starters. It also gives you a backbone to make gravy with.

Marc Mazzarese said...

brine a boneless breast first. it will stay moist.

Jennifer Hofmann said...

Thanksgiving turkey I've ever had. I bought a double breast and while separating, I actually filleted them by accident. However, I'm happy to report that it all held together when I didn't cut all the way through. Thanks for the inspiration and the laughs!

MyHat said...

Is the internal temperature 150 Chef John? I thought the safe temperature was 160? Thanks.

Andrew said...

I made this with a boneless breast - it came out absolutely delicious, moist and nicely cooked, but a bit "formless." The presentation was definitely nicer with the bone-in version.