Turkey Breast with Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing is a showstopper and a jaw-dropper! It’s not only gorgeous and looks like you spent hours and hours in the kitchen preparing it, the flavors of the stuffing pair absolutely perfectly with the moist turkey breast.
I show you how to make this stuffed turkey breast as part of my Thanksgiving Feast on the Outdoor Channel:
Brining the turkey in water, brown sugar, salt, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and lemon gives this breast just the right flavors so that only a little salt and pepper are needed when browning before it goes into the oven. The brine also acts as a tenderizer for the turkey. For a domesticated turkey, I recommend brining for 6 to 12 hours; for a wild turkey, I recommend at least 24 hours for optimal moistness.
The stuffing is super simple and can be used when stuffing duck, quail, chicken, and venison. It’s extremely versatile and outrageously delicious. The hardest part of the stuffing is sautéing the onions! How easy is that? The rest is just mixing the ingredients with your hands and voilà!
Stuffing and Trussing the Turkey Breast is simple, but I’d like to give you a few tips:
- Before pounding the turkey with the mallet, try to butterfly it all to the same thickness.
- Attempt to pound the turkey into a rectangle and cut any unwanted sides from the “rectangle.” This will make rolling and stuffing much easier.
- Place plastic wrap over the top of the turkey before pounding so that it doesn’t splatter on your clothes.
- Lay the turkey breast on a silpat or parchment paper before stuffing and rolling. You can use the silpat or parchment paper to aid in rolling the turkey to get it a little tighter.
- Cut the twine about 4 times long as the length of the stuffed turkey breast.
- No worries if there are a few holes in the turkey; “sew” them together with a toothpick. Once the turkey is browned, it will not come undone.
- Before slicing the stuffed turkey breast, allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes for nice, neat slices.
The cranberries, thyme, and parsley add just the right amount of color to make this dish “pop” against mashed potatoes, cranberry orange relish, and a butternut squash and wholegrain rice salad. You can make this dish up to the point of browning the turkey a day or two in advance. It sure helps with the clean-up the day of your event. I’ve even completely made it and refrigerated the braised turkey breast until an hour or so before I serve it. If you use this method, place the Dutch oven into a 200-degree oven and cook until warmed through. I’m all about convenience the day of an event!
Don’t forget to save the broth for the gravy!
Turkey Breast with Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing
Ingredients for Brine
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup salt
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 1 lemon, halved
- 4 cups ice
Ingredients for Stuffing
- olive oil, for sautèing
- butter, for sautéing
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 8 oz spicy Italian breakfast sausage, no casing or casing removed
- 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tbsp thyme, chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups chicken or turkey broth, divided
- 2 wild turkey breasts, skin off, and butterflied
- In a large pot, bring water, brown sugar, and salt to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves, bay leaves, pepper, and lemon halves. Allow mixture to cool. Add 4 cups of ice to the mixture. Put the clean, dry turkey inside the pot and refrigerate for 24 hours.
For the Turkey
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Drizzle olive oil and melt butter into a large Dutch oven. Sauté the onions and garlic in the pot over on medium heat and cook until translucent and golden.
- In a large bowl add sausage meat, breadcrumbs, cranberries, thyme, parsley, and onion mixture. Use your hands to bring it together.
- Lay the turkey breast on a chopping board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound meat with a meat mallet to ½ inch thickness. Remove plastic wrap and add stuffing to one side of the short end of the turkey breast. Roll the breast into a log, completely enclosing stuffing and truss the breast with twine. Drizzle turkey breast with olive oil and liberally salt and pepper the stuffed turkey breast.
- In the same Dutch oven, place turkey breast seam side down and brown on all sides for about 2 minutes or until golden. Pour wine and stock into one side of the pot. It should come up about 1/3 of the height of the turkey breast. Cover and roast for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150 to 155 degrees.
- Remove from oven and transfer the turkey breast to a cutting board and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. This will allow the temperature to rise to 165 degrees. Remove twine and slice crosswise about ½ inch thick to serve.