Craig Stoll's "Turchetta" aka Gluten-Free Porchetta-Style Roasted Turkey Recipe
The hardest thing about this recipe by Craig Stoll of San Francisco's Delfina restaurant, is explaining how to roll it up. Perseverance results in a gorgeous roasted turkey that is so fast to make, it's ready in one hour, and it seduces with the juicy, rich flavors of porchetta (Italian boneless, rolled- up pork roast with brown, crispy skin). Craig recommends using a heritage turkey. (His choice is BN Ranch.) “They really retain their moisture and the breast eats more like dark meat than dry white meat,” he promises. Ask your butcher to bone and halve the turkey for you. For smaller parties, cook only half the turkey and freeze the other half for future use. Regardless, you’ll need 20 feet of butcher’s twine for this recipe.
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 10 ounces salt pork, skin removed, or lardo
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- 1 18-pound turkey, boneless, trimmed of excess fat, and cut into two equal halves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Toast the fennel seeds in a pan over medium heat, about 3 minutes, then grind in a spice or coffee grinder.
Dice the salt pork into small pieces and transfer it to a food processor. Add the garlic and ground fennel seeds and process to a smooth paste. Add the rosemary and pulse once or twice to combine.
Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Spread out one turkey half, skin side down, on the paper. Orient it so the dark meat is away from you and the lighter (breast) meat is closest. Keeping the skin intact, gently detach the breast meat from the skin, loosening with a paring knife as necessary; it should pull away pretty easily. Cut the breast in half lengthwise.
Season the breast and thigh meat with 1 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper. Smear half of the salt pork mixture over the leg and thigh (dark) meat and the breast meat. Stack the two breast pieces on top of the leg and thigh meat so that the meat is even in height and width from left to right. Grasp the stack of meat with both hands, one on either side, and roll it toward you, encasing the whole turkey in its skin and leaving no exposed meat.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Measure a length of butcher’s twine that can easily wrap and knot around the rolled turkey. Cut off a dozen more pieces of the same length. Wrap one piece of string around the turkey on one end of the roll and tie a firm but not-too-tight knot. Tie another an inch away. Continue until the entire turkey is secure. Repeat the same procedures for the other half turkey.
Place a rack in a sheet pan, and place both trussed turkey rolls on the rack. They should not be touching, so use 2 racks if necessary. Season the outside of each with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil all over each half bird. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and roast for 20 to 25 minutes more. The turkey should be golden brown and have an internal temperature of 150°F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.