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Turkey Roulades


I recently bought a meat tenderizer. It was one of those wanted but mundane items that seemed doomed to wish-list purgatory, so I broke down and got it myself. People like to buy fun, indulgent gifts for others. And they tend to buy presents that match their own interests. Clearly, my loved ones do not see the fun in whacking a chicken breast into submission.

After trying a basic chicken roulade from yet another Williams-Sonoma cookbook, I decided to concoct my own recipe using turkey. This one draws on the Thanksgiving tradition of making sandwiches with meat, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. This version is intended to be low in fat, but you could try adding cream cheese or something more decadent if it suits you.

Here’s what you need:
Turkey breast tenders (about 1 per person, but they can be pretty big)
Canned pumpkin
Dried cranberries
Bread crumbs or dried/toasted bread
Parmesan cheese

Regarding the amounts, I used two turkey tenders, about a half can of pumpkin, a couple of tablespoons of cranberries, one piece of bread, and 2 Tbsp of cheese for two people. You can adjust amounts to taste and use the following info and photos for reference.

And, for the yogurt sauce:
Non-fat, plain yogurt
Something fruity but not sweet, like pomegranate syrup with no added sugar

I used 1/2 cup of yogurt, two teaspoons of honey, and a long dribble of pomegranate glaze that I bought at Trader Joe’s a while ago. Apparently, they don’t carry that mouth-puckering glaze anymore, but you could use a reduced/concentrated pomegranate or cranberry juice, as long as it’s thick and not too sweet. I don’t recommend shortcuts like jammy yogurt. The sauce shouldn’t taste like a dessert; it should be tart with just a dab of sweetness for balance.

Prep: Turn the oven to 400. Select a baking pan or cookie sheet that will fit your meat when rolled. Spritz or lightly oil the tray. If you don’t have fine bread crumbs, grind a piece of toasted bread to make crumbs and combine with approximately the same amount of parmesan cheese. Chop the cranberries and soak in a small amount of water to soften while you do the rest. If you haven’t already made the yogurt sauce, do it now.

The fun part: Now that you are ready to assemble it all, the recipe is simple. On a counter or sturdy table, pound the turkey tenders flat between sheets of wax paper. Use the flat side of your meat mallet. I also cut out the tendons.

Sprinkle the turkey with salt, and spread a layer of pumpkin across the flattened breasts.
Pumpkin layer

Determine which direction you’re going to roll the meat and spread the cranberries perpendicular to the direction of your roll. Fold the meat over the berries and roll everything into a log.

If you’ve removed the tendon, your roll may split. That’s fine. Just push it together at the end.
Turkey roll

Place the rolled-up meat on your baking tray. Spoon a tablespoon of yogurt sauce onto the roll and brush the sauce to coat the meat. Be sure not to dip your brush into the sauce, as the rest of the sauce will be served raw. If you need more sauce to coat your roll-up, use a clean spoon to scoop more and drop it onto the roll before spreading with your brush.

Coat the roll in the crumb-and-cheese mixture. Some recipes say to roll the meat in the crumbs, but I find this a difficult process, especially if your log has split. It’s easier to sprinkle crumbs on the roll and gently rub them to cover it. I also add a double layer by spraying lightly with oil after the first coat and doing a second pass. You won’t use all of the crumbs, but you need a fair amount to make the coating process go smoothly.

Brussels sprouts

Place the turkey tray into the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. When cooked, slice and serve with some of the sauce and your favorite vegetable. I roasted Brussels sprouts.
Turkey roulades
Once you know what to do, this recipe is really easy to make. Try creating your own roulades using chicken, turkey, and whatever fillings inspire experimentation.


From → Food

  1. jacquie permalink

    that’s food porn

  2. Love the contrast of this recipe against today’s story of the tacos with mayo.

    Of course you put pumpkin and cranberries on your turkey in June.

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