Not everyone feels like handling an entire 20 lb. bird for Thanksgiving – if you’re just cooking for yourself or a few other special someones, that’s a lot of leftovers! Or maybe it’s mid August and you want all the deliciousness of Thanksgiving without the 5 day pumpkin spice latte infused extravaganza. Whatever the case, this holiday spin on a rustic dish is sure to please and wow even the pickiest of turkey gobblers. The classic technique is a bit tricky, but the reward is SO worth it!
1 turkey breast, boneless and skinless (ask your butcher if none are available – they can clean one for you)
2 c. of wild or brown rice, cooked according to package directions
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh sage
1 c. dried cranberries, cranberry sauce, or cranberry jelly
1 package dried porcini mushrooms
6 slices bacon
1 c. chopped walnuts
2 packages puff pastry sheet (in the freezer section)
Salt + pepper to taste
The night before, move your puff pastry to the refrigerator to defrost.
The day of, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butterfly the turkey breast and pound to about 1″ thickness. This is probably the most difficult step of the whole meal, so take your time! We don’t want any of the filling leaking out. Sprinkle each side with salt, pepper, and sage.
Working in layers, evenly spread the brown rice, half of the cranberries (or sauce/jelly) and rosemary over the meat.
Once your oven is at temperature, roll the turkey and secure with baker’s twine (as seen below – we bought the carrots to prop up the turkey until we realized we had a rack – so just ignore those!).
Bake for about an hour, until cooked through and golden brown (to an internal temperature of 162ºF).
While the turkey is roasting, boil a few cups of water and soak the dried porcinis in it.
Fry up the 6 slices of bacon in a pan. Once crispy, remove from the pan and drain the mushroom water (which is super amazing, by the way… save it to make mushroom gravy or freeze). Sautée the mushrooms in the bacon grease, adding a splash of the mushroom water about halfway through, until deliciously caramelized.
Preheat your oven to 350º. Add the mushrooms to a food processor along with the walnuts and the rest of the cranberries. Allow to cool completely, along with the turkey. Once everything is room temperature – that’ll take a few hours – proceed to the puff pastry! Lightly flour a surface and roll out the puff pastry to the size of your turkey. Spread with half of your mushroom/walnut/cranberry mixture. You are basically making a “box” for the turkey… one of the puff pastry sheets goes on bottom, the other on top, and then you fold them together to create a delicious little pocket. Place the turkey on top, of the first sheet of puff pastry, cover with the rest of the mixture and the bacon, crumbled up into delicious bits.
Top with the other sheet of puff pastry and lightly fold the edges together.
Brush with 1 beaten egg. Bake for about an hour until the puff pastry is… well… puffed. And golden brown.
Allow to rest 15-20 minutes. Slice, serve, satiate then sleep for 6 days. Mmm.