This elegant turkey dish is a great option for a holiday meal when you’re feeding a relatively small group. Start by brining the meat, then cut a pocket in the turkey breast and stuff it with a mixture of pancetta, mushrooms and herbs. We finish it off with a rich port sauce.

Yield: Serves 5.



  • 4 cups water*
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion*
  • 6 tbsp kosher salt*
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar*
  • 1 tsp peppercorns*
  • 1 bay leaf*
  • 2 lb (1 kg) boneless turkey breast with skin
  • 1 cup diced pancetta
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 3 cups diced white button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup port
  • 2 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, chilled and cubed


  1. To prepare brine, combine water, onion, salt, sugar, peppercorns and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  2. Pour brine into a heatproof food-safe container and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until cold. Submerge turkey in cold brine, adding cold water if necessary to cover turkey. Cover container and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  3. To prepare stuffing, sauté pancetta in a large non-stick frypan over medium heat until browned and crisp. Add shallots and sauté until softened. Add mushrooms and sauté until softened and lightly browned. Add wine and cook, stirring, until liquid is evaporated. Stir in chopped sage, chopped thyme and pepper. Remove from heat and transfer stuffing to a heatproof bowl; cool completely, stirring occasionally.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove turkey from brine; discard brine, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf. Rinse turkey under cold running water and pat dry. Starting at thickest end of turkey breast, use a boning knife to cut a deep horizontal pocket in turkey breast; do not cut all the way through.
  5. Pipe or spoon stuffing into pocket. Place turkey, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.
  6. Roast for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue roasting until turkey is cooked through and a meat thermometer inserted in stuffing registers 165°F, about 35 minutes.
  7. Transfer turkey to a platter and cover with foil; reserve pan drippings. Let turkey stand for 20 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, to prepare sauce, place port in a small non-reactive saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat, until port is reduced by half. Add pan drippings, broth, mustard and thyme sprigs; stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.
  9. Gradually add butter, whisking until butter is melted. Remove and discard thyme sprigs. Sauce will be thin. Slice turkey and serve with sauce.
Nutritional analysis per serving:

430 calories, 28.6 g fat, 24.8 g protein, 9.5 g carbohydrate, 1.3 g fibre, 1075 mg sodium

*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis.