Butter Parmesan Stuffed Turkey Breast

Spring has sprung, and it won’t be long until hunters emerge from the woods with plump butterballs slung over their shoulders. What comes next is a meal fit for king if you follow the to-come steps.

by Tiffany Haugen

The popularity of cooking stuffing along a wild turkey breast not only adds a delicious side dish but it helps keep lean, wild turkey moist while baking. Whether pounded flat, rolled up and filled with stuffing, or butterflied with stuffing in the middle — or like this recipe, sliced and stuffed — stuffing adds lots of flavor, no matter what time of year take that wild bird.

Separating the wild turkey breast from the legs, thighs and back of the bird will get the best results as the breast meat can be cooked using many methods. The legs, thighs and back always benefit from “low and slow” or pressure cooked heat.

Depending on the time of year you choose to cook your bird, this recipe can be varied to include different herbs and spices. The key ingredients are butter and parmesan cheese, but even the breadcrumbs could be changed to crackers, cornbread or a gluten-free option.

Butter Parmesan Stuffed Turkey Breast

1 3-pound skinless, wild turkey breast
1/2 cup butter, divided
1 onion, diced
1/3 cup grated carrot
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
5-7 fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
3” fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt & black pepper

 Also, Do These Things

Clean any silver skin, fat or sinuous tissues from the turkey breast. Lay a wooden skewer on each side of the turkey breast, preferably on a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut 1/2-inch cross-grain slices in the turkey breast. When making the cuts, the wooden skewers will stop the knife from cutting all the way through the breast. This should leave about 1/4-inch of meat attached at the bottom of the entire turkey breast, allowing the stuffing to fit in the “pockets” you are making. Discard skewers and place the turkey breast on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet.

In a large skillet, caramelize onion and carrots in 1/4-cup butter on medium heat. Add garlic, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and orange zest, and sauté a few more minutes. Remove from heat, let cool slightly. Stir in Panko, orange juice, beaten egg and Parmesan cheese, mix until combined.

Divide stuffing equally in between each slice of turkey, tuck any leftover stuffing under the turkey breast. Drizzle remaining 1/4-cup butter over stuffed turkey and sprinkle with salt, pepper and additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Bake in a preheated 350º oven 35-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160º. Let turkey sit 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note: For signed copies of Tiffany Haugen’s popular book, Cooking Game Birds, visit scotthaugen.com for this and other titles.

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