I must confess—I am not a big fan of the roasted whole turkey. At a time when I need as much oven space as possible for the multitude of dishes that I serve on Thanksgiving, the huge whole turkey monopolizes most of my oven space.  I also find it impossible to get the whole turkey cooked to proper doneness.  If the drumsticks are well cooked, the breast is overdone and vice versa. And the stress of having to carve the turkey, while juggling the remainder of the courses is enough to make me seek out an alternative.

Turkey roulade to the rescue! It is tender, tasty and cooked to perfection. It serves 4 to 6 people, but can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled.  You can make it up to three days in advance.  No carving necessary!  Simply slice the roulade into ½ inch, mouth-watering slices of turkey and stuffing rolled into one.

I like to pour my favorite turkey gravy over the turkey roulade and surround it with a colorful edamame succotash.

If you have any questions about the turkey roulade recipe or would like my recipes for turkey gravy and/or edamame succotash, email me at puppy513@aol.com.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Ingredients for Turkey Roulade

Turkey Roulade

  • 1 turkey breast half, approximately 2.5 pounds, boned and butterflied, skin removed but reserved*
  • kitchen string to tie the roulade
  • a bunch of carrot and celery sticks to use as a rack for the turkey roast**


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed through garlic press
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chestnuts, chopped***
  •  1 cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped****
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 ½ cups bread cubes, toasted in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or chives, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Before you begin, make sure you have a roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey roulade.

Place the butterflied turkey breast half onto a cutting board.  Place some plastic wrap on the turkey breast, then pound lightly with a meat mallet or pounder until the turkey breast half is approximately ¾ of an inch in thickness and roughly rectangular in shape.

Combine all marinade ingredients—soy sauce, canola oil, sherry, honey, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes—in a blender and process until smooth.

Put the pounded turkey breast along with the reserved skin into a large glass or ceramic baking dish, and pour about ½ to 1 cup of the marinade on the turkey. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Make sure to save the reserved marinade—you will use it to baste the turkey when it is roasting.

While the turkey is marinating, make the stuffing:

Heat the 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large sauté pan.  Sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the chopped chestnuts and cook for a few minutes until heated through.

Place the onion/garlic/chestnut mixture into a large mixing bowl.  Add the pistachio nuts, apple, bread cubes, parsley, oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste.  Add lightly beaten egg and mix all ingredients until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator.  Place it on a cutting board.  Make sure it is flat and rectangular in shape.  Spread the stuffing on the turkey, making sure to leave a border of about one inch all around.  When you are done spreading the stuffing on the turkey breast, it should look like a rectangle slightly smaller than the turkey breast.

With the longer side of the rectangle facing you, start to roll the turkey breast and stuffing, making sure to roll all together tightly.  Place the reserved skin onto the roulade, covering as much of the exposed turkey breast as possible, and secure tightly with kitchen twine at 2-inch intervals.

Scatter the celery and carrot sticks on the roasting pan to use as a rack for the turkey roulade.  Place the turkey on the carrot and celery sticks.  Brush on the some of the reserved marinade. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for one hour, basting with the reserved marinade every 10 to 15 minutes.

After one hour, remove the aluminum foil and continue roasting the turkey roulade for ½ hour, basting with the marinade every 10 minutes.

Remove the turkey roulade from the oven—it should have been roasting for one hour covered and ½ hour uncovered.  It should be golden brown and perfectly cooked.

Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Slice into ¼ to ½ inch slices.

Serve with you favorite turkey gravy.

Serves 4 to 6.


* A turkey breast half is sometimes referred to as turkey London broil.  Your butcher should be familiar with the cut of turkey as well as the butterfly technique, which enables you to open the turkey like a book.

** You can purchase prepared carrot and celery sticks at the supermarket, or, if preferred, make them yourself.

*** You can find prepared chestnuts in the supermarket at this time of year.  I have used two brands found in jars—Roland and Minerve.

**** Pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts are good substitutes for the pistachios.

Ingredients for Edamame Succotash

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 10 ounce package frozen edamame beans, thawed
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or shucked from 2 ears of corn
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoons fresh chives or parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet Add the red onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until the onion is translucent, but not browned.  Add the red and green pepper and sauté a few more minutes.

Add the edamame, corn and dried thyme and cook for about 2 minutes until heated through.  Add the fresh chives and parsley or a combination of both.

Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Essex Fells Magazine

November 2014