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I’m a little behind. I haven’t cooked much in the last two weeks. The flu hit my household and hit it hard. Let’s go back two weeks…

It was Thanksgiving Day. The plan: head to my sister-in-law’s house for family dinner. My contribution for dinner: cocktail and dessert. Spiced honey and blood orange martini concoction. Check. Mini-sweet potato pies. Check. Auntie Opal’s Pumpkin Cake. Check. (I’ll post this recipe next.) Sick family. Check. Wait, what? Both hubby and youngest woke up sick. I mean ‘strategically-placed-trash-cans’ sick. There would be no big family Thanksgiving meal.

But it was Thanksgiving; we needed to be thankful and the only way to do that well is with food. While I cursed all the stores that were opening early for Gray Thursday, I gave huge thanks to one of the supermarket chains that was opened. There was no way to make a whole turkey and all its trimmings. I settled for turkey breasts, roasted carrots and not-fully-homemade stuffing. (eek.)

We had just seen FoodNetwork’s Thanksgiving Live segment, tuning in just before Giada cut her finger. We didn’t see the prep for her turkey porchetta but I knew I wanted to make it. Another opportunity to give thanks, this time to the Internet.

I made enough turkey breasts for leftovers, and for this I used jarred gravy. I tried making Giada’s, and failed. One day I will make a good gravy. (It’s good to have goals.)

turkey breast porchettaAdapted from Giada De Laurentis’s recipe

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 clementine, zested
  • 4 turkey breasts, pounded flat
  • 1/4 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbs Devo Olive Oil Tuscan Herb extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch leeks (light green and white parts only; slice in half lengthwise, then cut into thin slices)
  • 4 oz mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 small apple, diced 1/2″ chunks
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
What you do:
      • Chop 1/2 tsp fennel.
      • Mix with about 1 tsp salt and the orange zest.
      • Rub turkey breasts with salt mixture.
      • Place in plastic bag and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
      • Heat oven to 400.
      • Remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator.
      • In lg saute pan, toast panko over med heat until golden brown.
      • Transfer to bowl and add remaining fennel, red pepper, and season with salt and pepper.
      • In same saute pan over med-high heat, add 1 tbs EVOO.
      • Add leeks, mushroom, apple, shallot and rosemary.
      • Season with salt and pepper.
      • Saute until leeks soften, about 5 min.
      • Add to bowl with panko and mix.
      • Wipe out the saute pan and reserve to sear turkey.
      • Pat dry turkey breast with paper towels.
      • Divide filling evenly between breasts.
      • Roll up breast and secure with toothpick or tie with string.
      • Place saute pan over med-high heat and add 2 tbs EVOO.
      • Please turkey breasts on hot pan and sear on all sides until golden, about 3 min per side.
      • Transfer pan to oven and roast until thermometer reads 155º, about 20 min (depending on thickness of breast).
      • Remove to cutting board, tent with foil and allow to to rest for 5-10 min before slicing.
      • Slice each breast into “pinwheels.”
      • Top with gravy, if desired.