Simple Brined Turkey Breast and Stuffing Recipe

Brine your turkey, then roast it on a savory bed of sausage and fresh sourdough bread stuffing in this impressive, yet simple, turkey dinner for two.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves: 2
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 day

for the turkey:
1 boneless, skin-on turkey breast
1 cup|200 grams granulated sugar
1 cup|155 grams kosher salt
1 orange
10 whole black peppercorns
2 fresh bay leaves
1 sprig fresh sage
3 tablespoons mayonnaise

for the stuffing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 sweet Italian sausages, casing removed
4 tablespoons|60 grams unsalted butter
3 ribs celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red apple, cored and diced
12 ounces|345 grams fresh sourdough, torn into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 cups|500 ml chicken stock
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



  1. Brine the turkey: Place the sugar, salt, peppercorns, and sage in a medium saucepan with 3 cups|750 ml water. Using a y-shaped peeler, remove the zest from the orange and add it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, allowing the salt and sugar to dissolve, then remove from the heat and stir in 3 cups|750 ml ice cold water. Cool completely, then add the turkey and cover. Refrigerate overnight.

  1. The next day, heat the oven to 400°F. Make the stuffing: Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the butter, celery, and onion and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the apple and cook 2 minutes more, then stir in the bread and sage. Cook until lightly golden, about 6 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Turn off the heat and season with salt. Stir to combine and spread into an even layer in the skillet.
  2. Drain the turkey from the brine and pat dry, then brush all over with the mayonnaise. Season with freshly cracked pepper and nestle over the stuffing. Roast until the turkey is golden and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 160°F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. 
  3. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, stir the stuffing together and bake until golden on top, about 15 minutes more, then serve with the turkey.

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