Turketta: Porchetta-Style Grill Roasted Turkey Breast
Author: Jeff Parker
Recipe type: Indirect heat
Serves: 6 to 10
Cook's Note: (This is so much easier than it sounds!) Once the skin has been removed, place the breast bone side up. Using a small, very sharp knife (not a chef’s knife), and using short strokes with the tip of the knife against the bone, cut and scrape the meat away moving towards the middle of the breast. Cut around any shoulder and collar bones, including the wishbone. When you get to the center, stop and do the other side. Cut the keel bone away from the breast meat at the middle, leaving the breast in one big piece. The two tenderloins will be lying next to the breast meat at the edges – leave them attached.
- 1 turkey breast, whole (2 halves), boned (see Cook's Note above*)
- 1 pound sliced bacon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- Finely grated zest from 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo peppers or red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon lightly crushed fennel seeds, divided
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
- Sea salt, ½ teaspoon per pound of meat
- Kitchen twine
- Grilling grid
- Carefully remove the skin from the breast in one piece by working your hand under the skin starting at the neck; set aside. Cut away the bone the from turkey breast (see Cook's Note above*), being careful to keep it intact. Lay the full turkey breast skin-side down on a plastic wrap covered cutting board. Roll the tenderloins out to the sides leaving them attached. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and with the smooth-side of a meat mallet or the bottom of a small heavy-bottomed pot; pound the turkey breast to an even ½- to ¾-inch thickness.
- Combine the herbs, zest, pepper flakes, crushed fennel seed, and black pepper in a small bowl. Season the meat with the salt and then sprinkle all but 2 teaspoons of the herb mixture over the surface being sure to get in the nooks and crannies.
- Starting at one long end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll ending seam-side down. Starting at one end, slightly overlap bacon strips over the rolled turkey and then tuck under. Tie the roll lengthwise with butchers string and then around the roll every two inches to secure. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of herb mixture. If you would like to prep ahead, the turkey can be placed covered in the refrigerator overnight at this point. Remember to remove from fridge an hour before grilling.
- Set up grill for indirect cooking and stabilize at medium heat (325°F) by setting the two outside burners to medium. No direct heat beneath the turkey; place a drip pan under the grates in the center (over the unlit burners). Place turkey on grilling grid and set over drip pans then close the grill cover.
- Use an instant read thermometer to start checking the internal temperature of the turkey at 1-1/2 hours. Remove turkey from the grill when the temperature reaches 157°F to 160°F; about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. The internal temperature will continue to rise another 5°F to 10°F. The turkey is fully cooked at 165°F. Tent turkey with foil and let rest 20 to 30 minutes before slicing into ½-inch thick servings.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!