Turkey-Breast Roulade & Braised Legs

Turkey-Breast Roulade & Braised Legs
Photo: Mikkel Vang
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
10 to 12 Serves

This time-saving turkey recipe saves room in the oven for sides. First you pound the breast, then roll it with stuffing and roast it while the legs braise alongside it—like magic, both are done in just an hour. The white meat stays moist, and you get stuffing in each bite. And because onion serves as a roasting rack for the breast while the dark meat cooks partly submerged in broth, the pan juices make for an extra-flavorful gravy. No need to strain it—spend that time raising a toast instead.


  • 1 boneless, skin-on turkey-breast half (about 3 pounds)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 cups unbaked Cranberry-and-Sage Stuffing

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided

  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick rounds

  • 2 whole turkey legs (about 4 ½ pounds total)

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 1 quart warm Easy Turkey Stock, divided, plus more as needed

  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Pears, grapes, and sage and thyme sprigs, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place turkey breast, skin-side down, on a cutting board. Slice through the thickest part horizontally, creating a flap, and open it like a book. Cover with plastic wrap. With a mallet, pound to an even thickness (about 3/4 inch). Remove plastic and season with salt and pepper. Spread stuffing evenly over top, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Working from the short side without skin, roll the breast up tightly into a log, enclosing stuffing. Turn seam-side down and pull the skin down to envelop roulade as much as possible. Tie with kitchen twine at 2-inch intervals to secure. Rub 2 tablespoons butter over skin; season with salt and pepper.

  2. Arrange onion rounds in a single layer on one side of a roasting pan. Place roulade, skin-side up, atop onions. Rub 1 tablespoon butter over each leg, season, and place on other side of pan. Scatter thyme over turkey and pour 1 cup stock into pan.

  3. Roast turkey (adding more stock to pan if bottom becomes dry, 1/2 cup at a time) until a thermometer inserted in center of roulade registers 160°F, about 1 hour. Transfer roulade and legs to a carving board, loosely covering with foil to keep warm; remove and discard onion.

  4. Place pan on stove top over medium-high heat; add 2 1/2 cups stock. Bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and remaining 1/2 cup stock, then gradually whisk into pan. Continue boiling until thickened slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add more lemon juice, if desired, 1 teaspoon at a time, and season to taste. Remove twine from roulade and slice into rounds. Arrange on a platter with legs and garnishes and serve with gravy.

Cook's Notes

For extra-flavorful meat, butter and salt the roulade and legs a day ahead and store them uncovered in the refrigerator. Return to room temperature one hour before roasting. If your grocery only sells turkey breast with the bone in, ask the butcher to debone it for you. For smooth gravy, strain before serving.

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