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Giada's Turkey Breast Porchetta

Giada's turkey breast porchetta for Thanksgiving


  • teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 (3½-pound) boneless, skinless turkey breast, butterflied
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 small apple, cored and cut into ⅓-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Chef notes

Carving a turkey in front of your assembled friends and family is rarely a lot of fun. This boned, stuffed, and rolled breast made in the style of stuffed and roasted pork shoulder, is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. It’s also a dream to slice and serve. Note that the turkey breast is seasoned a day before roasting.


The day before roasting:

Begin by chopping ½ teaspoon of the fennel seeds. In a small bowl, combine them with 1¼ teaspoons of the salt and the teaspoon of orange zest. Rub both sides of the turkey with the salt mixture. Place the turkey breast in a gallon-size plastic storage bag and refrigerate overnight.

The day of roasting:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.


Meanwhile, in a 12-inch ovenproof sauté pan, toast the panko over medium heat, stirring with a rubber spatula until golden brown. Remove to a medium bowl and add the remaining teaspoon fennel seeds, the red pepper flakes, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.


To the same pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the diced fennel, shallot, apple, rosemary, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté until the fennel softens, about 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the panko and toss to combine. Wipe out the sauté pan and reserve to sear the turkey.

Place the butterflied turkey breast, opened, in front of you. Spread the fennel-panko filling evenly over the turkey. Roll up the turkey breast to maintain the shape. Tie with twine in four spots about 2 inches apart. Place the sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Place the turkey breast in the hot pan and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Place the pan in the preheated oven and roast for about 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast reads 155°F. Allow the porchetta to rest for 15 minute before slicing.