TURKEY.GIF (4169 bytes)Petti di Tacchino Ripiene

(Stuffed Breast of Turkey)



NOTE: If the stuffing is the only thing desired, this is an easy dish to prepare. It is, however, a fairly complicated dish when stuffing the breasts is taken into consideration.  Either way, make a lot of stuffing as 5 other dishes depend  on having this stuffing around.  It is one of the best stuffings we have ever made or tasted, and we were sorry to see the last  of it go.  The other dishes include Ignami Italiani (Italian Yams), Peperoni Ripiene con Ripieno di Tacchino (Peppers Stuffed with Turkey Stuffing), Fritatta di Tacchino  (A turkey Stuffing Open Faced Omelet), Caseruole di Pomodoro e Mortadella (A pasta Casserole of Turkey Stuffing, Tomatoes and Mortadella) and Zuppa di Tacchino (Turkey Soup).   Click on any of them to see if they appeal to your tastes and ideas on what to do with leftover stuffing.  We found that using the turkey this way did not result in the "Turkey Overload" that often occurs at holidays.


2 Med. Turkey thighs - from a 12-15 pound turkey
2 Med. Turkey legs - from a 12-15 pound turkey
2 Med. Turkey breasts - from a 12-15 pound turkey
2 Lg. Celery stalks - with leaves - chopped fine
2 Sm. Carrots - diced
2 Med. Onion - red & chopped medium fine
1 Cup Parsley - Italian & chopped coarsely
1 Cup Wine - Red - a Merlot or Chianti is fine
1/8 Tsp. Cumin - ground
1/8 Tsp. Oregano flakes - dry
3 Tsp. Rosemary leaves - fresh and chopped very fine
1 Tsp. Thyme leaves - stripped from stems
1/2 Cup Raisins - black, white or a mixture of the two
1/2 Cup Pine nuts
2/3 Cup Olive oil - Extra virgin
Q.B.   Salt and Pepper
8 Thin Mortadella slices
1/2 Cup Bread crumbs


Remove the legs and thighs from the turkey, and debone them.  If only turkey parts were purchased, simply debone them. the legs and the thighs.  Save the bones for another recipe. [see insert above recipe c].   Remove the breasts in one piece. Save all of the remaining bones for the soup. There will be a small fillet which naturally separates, or is held to the breasts very precariously, remove that, and save for another dish (Yams).   For the time being place the breasts in a bowl and put them in the refrigerator.

Chop the thigh and leg meat into 1/4  and 1/2 inch pieces.   About 2/3 should be quarter inch pieces and 1/3 half inch pieces.   To a large fry pan, add one half of the olive oil.  Add the celery, carrots, onion, and  parsley.  Sauté these vegetables for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.  Add the chopped turkey thigh and leg meat.  Mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes on high. Add the wine and cook briskly until the wine has evaporated.  Lower the heat and add the cumin, oregano, rosemary, thyme, raisins, pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 15 minutes on medium low heat, adding either a bit more olive oil or water if the mixture becomes too dry. After this time, turn off the heat, add the bread crumbs, mix well, and allow the mixture to cool while accomplishing the next step of the recipe.


Lay a breast on a cutting board.  Using a long thin knife, cut the breast parallel to the cutting board at one half the thickness . Do not cut the breast in two.  Stop cutting about 1 1/2 inches at the opposite end from where the cut was begun.  Open the breast like a book.  Do the same thing with the other breast.  Cover one of the breasts with aluminum foil, and using a mallet pound the breast to make it thinner and a bit larger.  Repeat this process with the other breast.  Lay both breasts on a  clean double thickness sheet of aluminum foil.   Position them so that the thinner edges overlap a bit, thereby making the equivalent of  one larger piece. 

Place the mortadella on top of the breasts, being careful to have the seam where the pieces of turkey meet covered completely with mortadella.   Do not place the mortadella so that its edge is over the seam.  It should straddle the seam.  A double thickness of mortadella at the seam is even better.  

Mix the stuffing mixture and add about 1/4 cup of olive oil to it.  Spoon the mixture over the mortadella, spreading it with the back of the spoon.  Try to make an even coating, leaving about an inch of the edges free of stuffing.

[NOTE: Do not try to use all of the stuffing.  It will be too much. Refrigerate it for use in the other recipes noted above.  Freeze it in quart containers if not using within a day or so].  

Once the stuffing mixture is spread upon the mortadella, begin to roll the entire breast  like a jelly roll. The best way to do this is to use the double thickness of aluminum foil.  Holding onto the edge of the foil, gently, but firmly roll the turkey, tucking in as much stuffing as possible along the way.  When the rolling is completed wrap the ends of the foil over the ends of the roll.  Take another piece of foil and wrap it again, making it as tight as possible.


Put the roll into  a pan large enough to hold it snugly.  Bake it at 450° for 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.  Unwrap it.  Tie the roll horizontally in 6 places with kitchen twine. Without par-baking the roast, it is very difficult to tie the breast meat without splitting it.  Once tied,  place it into a large baking dish, and drape it with Pancetta.   All of the top and sides of the turkey should be covered with Pancetta.  (The skin has been removed, and without a bit of fat, the breast meat will dry out while the roast is cooking.)  Sprinkle the roast with olive oil , salt and pepper and bake at 350°- 375°.  Baste it every 15 minutes.  Roast until an internal temperature of 180° is reached. the exact time depends upon Th. size of the turkey roll.   Remove from the oven, let stand 10 minutes, slice and serve.

This roast is delicious when baked, and them served with with Italian style yams, which recipe may be obtained by clicking here.

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Last updated on:12/19/04 08:49:07 PM