Slow Cook

Stuffed Turkey Breast Marsala (or Poor Man's Veal)

February 24, 2013
10 Ratings
Photo by Tom Hirschfeld/
Author Notes

There are several things about this dish I really like. The stuffing is mature. What do I mean by that? Well, for me, most stuffing I eat reminds me of being a kid and is to a certain degree, kid friendly. This stuffing while kid friendly lends a mature flavor to the entire dish. I also like the fact that the turkey only takes about 45 minutes to bake unlike a whole stuffed bird. The marsala sauce is rich in that wonderful raisiny way marsala is but when combined with the little hits of currant in the stuffing, the garlic and green onions is is sublime. I would shy away from mashed potatoes as a side dish for this. I think they would just be cloying while a simple noodle, nothing heavy, would be delicious. —thirschfeld

  • Serves 5 or 6
  • 1 single lobe turkey breast with skin (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup shallots, small dice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup serrano ham (3 thin slices), minced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, white and green parts, minced
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs, or half a gluten-free bagel dried and crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1/2 cup good quality marsala
  • 1 cup poultry stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each of all purpose flour and unsalted butter, mixed to a paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
In This Recipe
  1. NOTE: A beurre manie is nothing more than equal parts flour to butter all smushed together to make a paste. What the butter does is coat the flour so it doesn't clump when you add it to a sauce. The job it is meant to do is thicken the sauce. Once the sauce has thickened, you want to gently simmer the sauce so it cooks out any possible flour taste. In other words, you need to give it time to cook adequately.
  2. Place a saute pan over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and, once it is hot, add the shallots. Cook the shallots until they just begin to soften, then add the ham and garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant, add the pine nuts, currants, and bread crumbs. Stir. Season the stuffing with black pepper and salt. Stir again, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Once the crumbs have become toasted, remove the stuffing from the heat. Let the stuffing cool.
  3. Set the turkey breast onto a cutting board skin side up. Using a fillet knife and starting on the straight side, insert it into the breast from the fat end to the thin end being very careful to keep the knife centered. If you poke a whole don't freak, the skin will hold it all in. What you are doing is making a pocket for the stuffing, but you want the pocket to be as big as possible so there is stuffing throughout the length of the breast. Now, using the knife, make several long sweeping cuts in order to make the pocket.
  4. Heat the oven to 350?F. Once the stuffing is cool, add the egg, tablespoon of water, and parsley. Mix to combine. Stuff the breast, then wrap the skin around the whole thing and truss. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  5. Oil an oven-proof saute pan with a smidge of oil. Wipe it around with a paper towel, coating the bottom surface. Place the breast into the pan with the seam side of the skin down.
  6. Bake the breast for 30 minutes. Remove the pan (use an oven mitt, the handle is super hot), from the oven and then remove the turkey breast to a small sheet tray with sides. Place the turkey back into the oven.
  7. While the breast is baking for the final 15 to 20 minutes place the saute pan onto a burner. Remember the handle is smoking hot so use a dry towel or oven mitt.
  8. Turn the heat to medium high and add the marsala. If the pan is really hot, the marsala may flame, so be careful. Reduce the marsala by half. Add the stock.
  9. Bring the stock to a boil and let it reduce by 1/3. In the end you want about a cup of sauce. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Taste again and adjust the seasoning.
  10. Check the turkey breast. If it is done remove it from the oven and let it rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Finish up with what ever sides you are working on.
  11. Bring the sauce to a boil and add the beurre manie. Whisk it in to thicken the sauce and add the parsley. Stir again. Let the sauce gently simmer to cook out any flour taste. Slice the turkey then sauce a platter,and finally, fan the turkey across the top. Serve.

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Father, husband, writer, photojournalist and not always in that order.