Turkey roulade with butternut squash, mushroom and cranberry stuffing
This turkey roulade is made from turkey breast and stuffed with roasted butternut squash, sauteed cremini mushrooms, and dried cranberries, then wrapped in Parma ham. It's so flavorful and perfect for an autumn Sunday dinner or for a special occasion like Thanksgiving or Christmas. It's easier and quicker to prepare than the whole turkey! The meat needs to be prepared the day before!
Servings 5 servings (15 slices)
for the roulade:
- 2.2 lbs turkey breast 1 kg, skinless and boneless
- 14 oz roasted butternut squash 400g, this is about 2.2 lbs/1kg raw butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 7 oz cremini mushrooms or button/porcini mushrooms, 200g
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon frying oil
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries 2.5oz/70g
- 8 slices Parma ham prosciutto crudo
- salt and pepper to taste
for the gravy:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- pan drippings !
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or to taste, can be omitted
- butcher's twine or toothpicks + plastic foil
Prepare the stuffing:
BUTTERNUT SQUASH: First, you need to roast the squash. Cut the squash into 3/4-inch/1.5-2 cm cubes, mix with olive oil, chopped rosemary, season to taste with salt and pepper, spread evenly on a baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes at 425°F/220°C/Gas Mark7, no fan (if you have a convection oven, reduce the temperature by about 20 degreeor until the squash is soft (a fork inserted into squash comes out easily). When the squash is ready, measure out the needed amount and mash it slightly with a fork (only slightly, do not mash it into a puree).
MUSHROOMS: Cut mushrooms into slices, dice the onion, finely chop the garlic. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over high heat, then add the mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes without stirring (or until the mushrooms are browned at the bottom), then reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Transfer the content of the pan to a chopping board and roughly chop the mushrooms (it does not have to be very fine).
Prepare the turkey breast:
We need to obtain a thin, rectangular piece of meat from the turkey breast. If you've purchased whole turkey breast, you need to remove the bone, the skin and the tenderloin (leave the tenderloin if it's small and well attached to the rest of the breast). It's best to buy a piece of turkey breast that is more square-shaped than triangular (only if you can choose, both types will work). Place the turkey breast on a large chopping board, skin-side down (but skin needs to be removed prior to this step). Now butterfly the turkey breast: you need to cut parallel to the chopping board, cut along the length of the breast, but not all the way through, then open the breast like a book. At this point, you can repeat that on the left and right side of the meat if it's too thick to pound. I found out that rather flat and smaller turkey breasts allow that you butterfly them only once, but bigger pieces of meat require double butterflying (you can also butterfly the meat only once and just pound it a little more). When you're ready with cutting the meat, place a thick plastic foil or baking paper over the meat (to avoid tearing the meaand pound it with a meat mallet to an even thickness of 1/2-3/4-inch / 1,5 cm. The meat should be more rectangular than square, but it should not be a long rectangle. All shapes will work but bear in mind that a square-shaped piece of meat will make thicker (talleroulade which needs to be baked longer.
Stuff the roulade:
Season the meat generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
Spread the filling (roasted squash, then the mushrooms and cranberrieover the prepared meat, leaving about 1-inch/2 cm border (the stuffing won't fall out of the roll when it's being rolled up). Spread the filling on this side of the meat that was being pounded.
Roll up the roulade along the long side, wrap in Parma ham slices and tie it with a piece of butcher's twine.
Put the roulade in the fridge overnight - the meat will be more tender and flavorful, but it will also keep its round shape better.
Bake the roulade:
Remove the turkey roll from the fridge 1 hour before you plan on baking it.
Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/Gas Mark 5, no fan (if you have a convection oven, reduce the temperature by about 20 degrees).
Place the roulade on a large / medium rimmed baking tray and bake for about 1 hour, or until the internal temperature is about 150°F/66°. Please bear in mind that each oven bakes differently, and baking time may also vary depending on the thickness of the roulade.
Take the roulade out off the oven, transfer to a large chopping board, cover with aluminum foil and leave for 10-15 minutes (during this time the internal temperature of the roulade should be at 165°F/74°C, which is a safe temperature to eat poultry).
Meanwhile, make the gravy.
Pour the broth into the baking dish. Whisk thoroughly, scraping off all the brown bits on the bottom of the dish until combined.
In a small pot, melt the butter, then add the sifted flour and whisk until combined and bubbling. Add in the pan drippings mixed with the broth. Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens. Strain the sauce through a strainer to make it perfectly smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
* Turkey breast vs turkey thighs: I prefer turkey breast for this recipe, but turkey leg meat will also work. You need boneless and skinless turkey breast. If you've bought a skin-on bone-in turkey breast, remove the bone (you can use it to make a broth or to infuse any soup with bone flavor or freeze it and use later) and the skin. You can use the skin to wrap the roulade. You can also remove the tenderloin if it's too big and not closely attached to the breast.
* Instead of Parma ham: you can use bacon or as written above - turkey skin.
* How to tie the roulade without twine: Instead of butcher's twine, you can use toothpicks to secure the roulade and wrap it tightly with plastic foil.
* Notes on roasting the squash: The baking time will vary depending on the type of pumpkin. I liked it most with the butternut squash. The baking time for Hokkaido pumpkin is around 10-15 minutes, for butternut squash around 20 minutes. Pumpkin pieces should be spaced out so that they can roast and brown at the bottom (browned squash = more flavor). If crowded they will steam. Hokkaido pumpkin doesn't need to be peeled, butternut squash does. It's best to bake a larger amount of squash and use it for other dishes/desserts or freeze it. 14oz/400g roasted squash (without seeds and skin) is about 2.2 lbs/1kg of whole raw squash (with seeds and skin).
* Baking time: may vary depending on the oven and roulade's size. If your roulade is thicker than mine, you need to bake it longer. If it's browning too much you can cover it loosely with a piece of plastic foil.
* How to store turkey roulade: in the fridge, in a tightly closed container or wrapped in plastic foil.
* How to reheat the roulade: The best way to reheat the turkey roulade without drying it out is to STEAM roulade slices. You can do it even if you don't have a steamer. I'm using a splash guard to do this. Place the splash guard over a big pot with boiling water, place roulade slices on the splash guard, cover with a lid or a second pot. Steam for about a minute, only until warm (don't steam it for too long or the meat will be tough!).
* How to freeze turkey roll: Best is to cut the roulade into slices, place them apart on a tray and freeze. Transfer to a container when frozen. Defrost in the fridge then reheat.
* Calories count = 1/5 of the recipe (this is only an estimate!).