1 single turkey breast, skin on
3 cups crumbled, stale cornbread
1/2 cup grated asiago or parmesan
16 slices salami, diced finely
3 slices pancetta, diced finely
2 tablespoons pinenuts
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 sage leaves, torn
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
a healthy drizzle olive oil
salt and pepper
turkey breast with pancetta, salami and corn bread stuffing
anyone who has ever cooked a turkey has a war story to offer. the trouble is that the different parts all cook at different times...so, to feed two, just buy a breast. I went to the butcher, had him slice me a single breast...one with plenty of skin on it, still on the breast bone...and in one fell swoop, I solved all of my problems. I had enough to feed 2 people (well, 4 really, but you have to have some left- overs!), I had just breast meat to contend with and I had a piece of meat that would cook in an hour instead of 3!
and, most importantly, I could still stuff it
this stuffing is based on one that a saucy swedish vixen once made for me. the secret of the salami and pancetta is that the smoky flavour sexes up the turkey flesh and the fat from the stuffing keeps the bird tender and moist
I bought a slab of cornbread, some salami, pancetta, pine nuts and herbs at the supermarket...had it all mixed up whilst the oven was pre-heating and had the turkey stuffed in minutes. cook this ahead of time if you like. it can be served hot straight from the oven, or sliced and re-heated
heat: oven to 425
mix: all stuffing ingredients except olive oil in a mixing bowl. mix by hand, it should be wet enough to hold together when squeezed. use olive oil and a little water to get stuffing to the right consistency
separate: the skin from the flesh of the turkey breast to make a pocket for the stuffing
stuff: the cornbread stuffing under the turkey skin. leftover stuffing may be placed in a buttered ramekin and baked separately. smear some butter over the stuffed turkey and place it in a baking pan
bake: covered with foil for 30 minutes, reduce heat to 400 and bake 30 minutes. depending on the size of the breast, you may have to cook it longer. test by pricking the flesh with a fork. the juices should run clear. for the last 10 minutes, remove the foil and baste the turkey. increase the heat to 450, and let the skin brown.
remove: turkey from the oven, cover with foil and let it sit whilst you prepare the rest of the meal
get saucy: slice an onion into 1 inch 'steaks' and line the pan, then sit the turkey on these before baking. it stops the turkey from sticking to the pan and it leaves you with the makings for a super onion gravy. add a splash of white wine to the meat juices, stir in a tablespoon of flour and put the pan on the stove top. stir the flour in, add a pinch of salt, a dash of balsamic vinegar and some boiling water. bring it to bubbling point. it will thicken into a delicious gravy with juicy ropes of onion...mmm!
serve with: butternut squash baked in truffled honey, mashed potatoes and basil & butter peas