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In the very first post that I wrote a few years back leading up to Thanksgiving Day, I mentioned that I am very fascinated by the creative way in which Persians combine food cultures. When invited to spend Thanksgiving Day with Persians, it’s always fun for me to see what type of dishes appear on the table, specifically, see how East meets West as far as flavors and cooking techniques are concerned. I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to try different styles of cooking over the 23 years that I have lived in the US. I have had anything from store bought turkey and sides, such as green beans made with canned mushroom soup, to recipes influenced by the ethnicity of those who made it.  I still say Soul Food style Thanksgiving is the best I have ever had, hands down. Truth be told though, Persian style is a very close second!

With that said, today I bring you yet another Persianized Thanksgiving recipe. This Stuffed Turkey Breast roll, or roulade, is sure to impress your guests; the best part of it is the fact that it doesn’t take a whole day to cook! In fact, it only take just over one hour!!

I first came across this specific stuffing technique when I purchased the “In Cucina Con Fantasia” by Wilma De Angelis cookbook from a local flea market while visiting my parents in Rome in 1999. Throughout the years I have made a few versions of this “Rainbow Roll” using different types of vegetables inside. So far this has certainly been a crowd pleaser.

For the past couple of years I have been wanting to change things up as far as the Thanksgiving turkey is concerned. I came across a stuffed turkey breast recipe a while back and I knew immediately that I had to make with the same technique as the above picture. I have to say that this Stuffed Turkey Breast is not only impressive visually, but it is also delicious!! I chose the combination of butternut squash, carrot, and green beans to add some autumn/Thanksgiving colors. To Persianize it, instead of making a regular omelette I made Kuku Sabzi with cranberries, and instead of using Italian Mortadella, I used Persian Kalbas.

This turkey roulade takes a bit of work to prep, but the best thing about it is the fact that you can make it the night before Thanksgiving and place it in the fridge. On the day of, bring it to room temperature and simply roast it for just over an hour.

Ingredients (serves 6 to 8 )

1 turkey breast (3 1/2 to 4 lb)
2 eggs
1 cup parsley
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup mint
1/4 cup dill
1/4 cup tarragon
20 chives
1/4 cup cranberries
10 slices Kalbas (Persian Mortadella)
4 medium carrots
1/4 of a butternut squash
4 oz green beans
12 baby potatoes
12 medium pear onions
5 garlic cloves
1 cup white wine
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup broth
olive oil
salt & pepper

I highly suggest brining the turkey breast over night. Brining is very easy and it can really help achieve a nice and moist turkey. Feel free to click and use the following recipe: How to Brine Poultry

Wash herbs and dry completely. Then small chop together.

In a bowl add the eggs, salt,  and pepper. Whisk together.

Add one cup of chopped herbs and cranberries. Mix well.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a non-stick skillet. Add egg mixture making sure to spread out herbs and cranberries by shaking the pan. Cover and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes on medium until the edges turn a light brown color. Using a dish carefully invert the kuku on a plate. Return the kuku to the skilled with the uncooked part facing down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from stove and allow to cool.

Peel carrots and butternut squash. Cut butternut squash and carrots in long even sized sticks. Hold on to the extra pieces of carrots.

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Season with salt then add carrots, butternut squash, and green beans. Blanch the vegetables for 5 minutes. Drain veggies and pour cold water over them to stop the cooking process. Place in a colander and allow to come to room temperature.

Bring another 3 cups of water to a boil. Add pear onions and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove and strain. Then remove skin.

Remove turkey breast from brine and rinse. Pat dry. With a sharp knife carefully remove the skin making sure to keep it intact.

Butterfly the breast by cutting it in half lengthwise making sure to avoid making any holes.

Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the turkey breast then evenly flatten with a meat pounder.

Generously season chicken breast with salt and pepper.

Place cooled kuku on top of the turkey breast.

Evenly distribute the Kalbas slices on top of the kuku.

Place the blanched vegetables on top then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Roll the turkey breast tightly making sure that all the stuffing stays inside. Place on the board seam side down. Rub turkey with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil then season with salt and pepper.

Place the reserved skin on top of the rolled turkey breast then wrap tightly with cooking thread. Season the skin with salt and pepper.

Add three tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan. Add the garlic and infuse the oil with the flavor of the garlic. Discard any that turn brown.

Add turkey breast skin side down and allow to sear until the skin turns golden. Season the bottom of the turkey with salt and pepper. Then flip and brown on all sides.

Once the bottom portion has turned into a nice golden color, add 1 cup of wine. Allow to cook for 5 minutes on stove top. Then add one cup of water.

Add potatoes, blanched onions, and leftover pieces of carrot. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Cover the pan with foil and roast turkey at 375° for 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue roasting for another 40 minutes uncovered or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.

During the cooking time flip the pan around for even cooking and color. Also check the liquid inside the pan. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water if the broth has evaporated.

Remove turkey breast from the pan and place on a cutting board. Cover with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

In the mean, time make gravy by melting 2 tablespoons of butter then adding 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk the butter and flour until it turns into a light/medium brown color. If you eat gluten-free then I highly suggest using Shauna’s, from Gluten Free Girl, Gravy recipe.

Add 1 cup (or more) of leftover broth from the pan and continue to whisk until desired gravy consistency. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Remove cooking string from the turkey then cut into even slices. Serve with baby potatoes and onion topped with gravy!

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