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Italian Rolled Turkey Breast with Spinach & Ricotta and Herb Gravy

Italian Rolled Turkey Breast with Spinach & Ricotta and Herb Gravy


For the Turkey Breast and Brine:

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • ½ cup salt

  • 6 cups hot water

  • 2 large bay leaves

  • 1 turkey breast per 4 adults (skin-on, boneless breast, 2 ½ pounds of meat), butterflied (cut open like a book and lightly pounded to even meat)

For the Spinach Stuffing and to Roast and Serve:

  • 3 tablespoons EVOO

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • Two 12-ounce packages chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and well drained (squeeze dry in towel)

  • Salt and pepper

  • Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon

  • About 2 cups ricotta, drained

  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • Twine

For the Garlic and Herb Gravy:

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped or pasted

  • 3 tablespoons minced herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley)

  • 4 tablespoons flour

  • Salt and pepper

  • ½ cup white wine

  • 2 cups turkey stock

  • ½ cup cream


For the turkey breast and brine, dissolve sugar and salt into water with bay and cool. Add turkey and brine 4 to 6 hours, then pat dry.   

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

For the stuffing and to roast and serve, heat skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO and 1 tablespoon butter and melt. Add shallots and stir a couple minutes. Add garlic and spinach and stir to combine. Season the spinach with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Place spinach in a bowl and combine with ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano.       

Season turkey on butterflied side with salt and pepper. Top with spinach stuffing and roll the breast tightly with skin side on top. Tie the stuffed breast with twine beginning on small end.  Rub skin with remaining butter, drizzle with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast 1 hour 15 minutes to 90 minutes, to 160°F. Let rest 20 to 30 minutes, slice, ¾ to 1 inch thick and serve.  

For the gravy, heat butter and stir in garlic and herbs 1 minute. Add flour and whisk, add salt and black pepper and whisk in wine, then stock to thicken. Reduce heat to low and whisk in cream. 

Cover to keep warm until you serve.