This is a good dish for a dinner party, as it doubles easily and can be assembled a day before roasting. It looks impressive when sliced, too. To make things easier, buy a boned turkey breast half (about 1 3/4 to 2 pounds).
Achiote is the slightly musky-flavored seed of the annatto tree. Although it adds color and flavor to the turkey, it can be omitted. The peppers can be charred and chopped up to 2 days in advance (refrigerate until ready to use). The turkey breast can be filled and rolled 1 day in advance (wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use; remove the plastic wrap before roasting).
Servings: 4 - 6
- 3 medium poblano chili peppers
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the pan (optional)
- 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground achiote or annatto
- 2 1/4 to 2 1/3 pounds skin-on turkey breast half, preferably with rib bones attached
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped oregano
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
Char the poblano chili peppers over a gas flame or under the broiler until they are blackened all over (5 to 6 minutes in the oven). Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing the peppers to steam as they cool. Discard the skins, stems and seeds; coarsely chop the peppers.
Whisk together the oil, garlic, cumin and achiote or annatto in a small bowl.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Liberally spray a roasting pan with nonstick cooking oil spray or grease it with olive oil. (The roasting pan should be sturdy enough to be placed on the stovetop, a finishing step in this recipe.)
Use a small, sharp knife to remove the rib bones from the turkey breast half; reserve them. Trim and discard any extra skin that does not cover the breast meat.
Place the turkey breast meat, skin side down, between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound it with a mallet to flatten it to a rough 12-by-9-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of plastic wrap; brush the turkey breast meat with half of the garlic mixture. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Spread the chopped peppers evenly across the top of the turkey, then sprinkle with the feta cheese and 2 tablespoons of the oregano.
Starting at one of the long sides, roll up the turkey, tucking the ends in, to create an approximately 10-by-4-inch rolled roast (make sure the turkey skin does not get rolled up with the meat but is wrapped only around the outside of the roll). Tie with kitchen twine in several places to secure the filling. Place the turkey roll in the prepared pan and brush with the remaining oil-garlic mixture. Nestle the reserved bones alongside the turkey; sprinkle the meat and bones with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 to 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 160 degrees.
Transfer the turkey to a cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the roasting pan (with the bones still in it) over high heat on the stovetop. Add the broth and wine and bring to a boil; use a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to 1 cup. Discard the bones and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oregano. Season with salt and pepper; mix well.
Discard the twine and cut the turkey into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices. To serve, arrange the slices on a platter and drizzle with the sauce. Serve hot, warm or cold.
Adapted from "Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes: Recipes From a Modern Kitchen Garden," by Jeanne Kelley (Running Press, 2008).
Tested by Rhonda L. Taylor.
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