Some people might say there’s something missing at our Thanksgiving table. They might say that the conspicuous absence of a large, help roasted bird means that it’s not Thanksgiving at all. But my family would disagree. I don’t remember the last time my mom roasted a whole turkey. They’re difficult to carve, easily dry out and everyone fights for the white meat. My mom tried a Turkey Roulade one year, and we haven’t looked back since.
Usually, we make a prosciutto and sage-stuffed turkey breast, wrapped in peppered bacon and basted with pear jam. It’s absolutely delicious. The bacon and jam keep the turkey nice and juicy, and the pepper is a perfect contrast to the sweet jam. My mom’s been doing this turkey for years, and we decided to change it up a little this year. We picked our filling ingredients and I volunteered to make a test turkey.
Instead of prosciutto and sage, I stuffed it with caramelized onions and figs, goat cheese, cranberries and chopped toasted pecans. I still wrapped it in bacon — how could I not wrap it in bacon? — but I did skip the pear jam and I couldn’t find peppered bacon.
The new filling was a definite success. It was rich, tart and sweet without being overpowering. I had skipped the pear jam because I thought the filling would be too sweet, but the sweetness actually mellowed out while the turkey roasted and the bacon didn’t caramelize as well as I’d hoped, so the pear jam will be back on Thanksgiving day. I also missed the spicy kick from the peppered bacon to counteract the rich filling, so I’ll redouble my efforts to find before the big day.
It’s not a traditional turkey, but it’s delicious, easy to slice, easy to serve. I already can’t wait to hit up the leftovers in my fridge!