Mario Batali's Stuffed Turkey
A Recipe for Stuffed Turkey That Will Never Be Too Dry
Tacchino Ripieno — for non-Italians, that means turkey stuffed with chestnuts and prunes — is chef Mario Batali's favorite way to cook turkey because, he says, it never comes out dry.
It features a crisp-well-seasoned skin, can be baked in an hour, and may be cut straight through, just like a regular roast. The recipe is featured in Batali's new book, Holiday Food, published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. Prepare for a big night: This dish serves eight to twelve people.
Pound the butterflied breasts to flatten then season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the pork and cook until it starts to brown in its own fat, about 25 minutes, stirring regularly.
Drain all but 4 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and add the prunes and chestnuts. Continue cooking for 8 minutes until the prunes really start to soften.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 20 minutes.
Add the bread crumbs, Parmigiano, eggs, pepper, nutmeg and herbs and just bring together, stirring with your hand. (Overmixing here can result in a lead torpedo for stuffing, so do not overdo it.) Place the two turkey pieces on a cutting board skin side down and divide the stuffing between them. Roll each of the breasts like a jelly roll and tie them firmly in several places with butcher's twine. Place the two rolls on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.
Pour 2 cups of the wine over them, season with salt and pepper, and roast until dark golden brown outside, and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees at the fattest part of the breast, about 1 hour, plus or minus 10 minutes.
Remove and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving. Add the remaining cup of wine to the roasting pan and de-glaze, scraping with a wooden spoon.
Cook for 5 minutes, then add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Shake the pan to emulsify the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Carve the roast into 1/2 inch slices and drizzle with the pan sauce. Serve.