Stuffed Turkey

Mario Batali
Servings: Over 8
1 to 2 hr

Tacchino Ripieno - for non-Italians, that means turkey stuffed with chestnuts and prunes — is chef Mario Batali's favorite way to cook turkey because, he says, it never comes out dry. st.

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
Stuffed Turkey
  • 1 whole turkey breast (boned/halved/butterflied by your butcher - 5 to 6 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound pancetta cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork shoulder
  • 10 prunes (pitted and quartered)
  • 12 chestnuts (roasted/peeled/halved)
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano (freshly grated)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon sage (chopped)
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • Pound the butterflied breasts to flatten then season with salt and pepper and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the pork and cook until it starts to brown in its own fat, about 25 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Drain all but 4 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and add the prunes and chestnuts. Continue cooking for 8 minutes until the prunes really start to soften.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the bread crumbs, Parmigiano, eggs, pepper, nutmeg and herbs and just bring together, stirring with your hand. (Overmixing here can result in a lead torpedo for stuffing, so do not overdo it.) Place the two turkey pieces on a cutting board skin side down and divide the stuffing between them. Roll each of the breasts like a jelly roll and tie them firmly in several places with butcher's twine. Place the two rolls on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.
  • Pour 2 cups of the wine over them, season with salt and pepper, and roast until dark golden brown outside, and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees at the fattest part of the breast, about 1 hour, plus or minus 10 minutes.
  • Remove and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving. Add the remaining cup of wine to the roasting pan and de-glaze, scraping with a wooden spoon.  Cook for 5 minutes, then add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Shake the pan to emulsify the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  • Carve the roast into 1/2 inch slices and drizzle with the pan sauce. Serve.
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