Search This Blog

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bacon Pesto Stuffed Turkey Breast

Earlier this year at the World Bacon Championships in Rochester, NY, one of the turn in categories was turkey.  It could be any kind of turkey, it just had to contain bacon in some form.  So, after some thinking and experimentation over the spring, we settled on a turkey breast stuffed with basil pesto and bacon.  Bacon and pesto match well.  At least I think so.  But the judges didn't think so as our entry finished in the middle of the pack.

First, we took a turkey breast and butterflied the meat so that it could be stuffed with the bacon and pesto filling.

Once butterflied, we brined in a batch of our homemade brine solution.

I always use this brine when I am smoking chicken, turkey, or any thing with wings.  It really does tenderize the meat and take out all of those bad juices.  I always reference this recipe in my poultry posts.  So, I decided to make my life (and yours) easier and make a separate link.

BOS's Chicken Brine:

1 gallon Water
1 cup dry wine
¾ cup Kosher Salt
¾ cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
¼ cup Orange Juice
⅛ cup Worcestershire Sauce

I placed the turkey breast in the brine and allowed it to soak for about four hours.

As preparation time drew closer, we prepared the bacon pesto filling.  For the bacon, I took about a half pound of bacon and cut it into small cube.  Then, I browned the bacon until slightly crisp, then I drained the fat.  Once this was done, I stirred the bacon into 1/2 cup of basil pesto.  Then I removed the turkey breast from the brine, rinsed well with cold water, and patted dry.  Then, the breast was stuffed with the pesto mixture, rolled up tight, then tied shut with butchers twine.  Then, I lightly coasted the skin with olive oil and seasoned lightly with salt, thyme, and rosemary.

I smoke roasted the breast on a smoker at 350 F with a piece of pecan wood in my ash pan for smoke flavor.  I roasted the bird until the internal temperature reached 160 F, about one hour.  Then, I removed the breast from the smoker and allowed to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

The meat was tender and juicy.  The flavors mixed well.  The leftovers made a great grilled turkey club of sorts the next day with crusty white bread, provolone cheese, and sliced tomato.  Obviously, this recipe did not work well for us in competition.  But, for at home, I'll be making this again.

Thanks for stopping by,


No comments:

Post a Comment