Thanksgiving story & Turkey Roulade

Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

After a traditional Ambrose family Thanksgiving day breakfast of roasted pork loin and sweet corn hash with red skin potatoes and poached eggs, Mansell and I stuffed the turkey that we’d boned out on Wednesday morning.

All of the vegetables we used came to us in a farm box from our friends at the Foster farm in Sagaponack.

We diced carrots, chopped green onions and garlic, rosemary, arugula and 4 lovely dried Shishito peppers. In a sauté pan the vegetables were softened with Cromer’s Italian sausage. After the mixture cooled we rolled it into the boneless bird and tied the roulade off with sage.

The idea came from our neighbor Ina Garten. She did a wonderful spread for The NY Times last week. It brought the old days to mind, when I first arrived and Ina had a killer gourmet food shop on Newtown Lane, the Barefoot Contessa.

The first time I visited her shop was on Thanksgiving weekend in 1989. Jessica and I had a few friends out for the holiday weekend, we bought pies and chicken stock from Ina, then settled in for a crazy weekend. It snowed about 10 inches.

After our dinner on Thursday, before dusk we went for a walk on the golf course. One of our guests, Tim Grand, a bird watcher identified a Snow Bunting in the green side trap on Maidstone’s first hole.
It was a lifetime bird for him, he was ecstatic.

Today there was no snow, it was about 55 degrees when we went for our walk on the beach. It’s dinner time now, the Briggs family just arrived. Phoebe has instituted a murder mystery dinner. I’m Maverick Bullock for the western theme.

For Thanksgiving dinner we served Turkey Roulade with Foster farm vegetables.

Turkey Roulade

Serves 10


  • 12 lb turkey
    Bones removed, maintain skin by cutting from the leg side not the breast bone. See photo
Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving
  • 1 1/2 cups Sweet Italian sausage
  • 3 green onions, chopped and rinsed
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced fine
  • 4 dried peppers (shishito), chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups arugula, chopped
  • 1/2 head cabbage, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 cup turkey broth
  • 1 cup white wine
Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

Lay the boneless turkey on a board, skin side down. Pound the meat with a mallet to attempt an even thickness. Season with sea salt.

Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

Combine all chopped vegetables, oil and sausage in a sauté pan over medium flame. Stir until the sausage is cooked through, add rosemary and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Next, add chopped arugula to the mixture.

Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

Cut 10-12 pieces of butchers twine (12-15 inches) and line them up under the skin of the turkey breast. Spoon a layer of the vegetable/sausage stuffing onto the prepared turkey breast.

Set any leftover stuffing aside.

Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

Now roll the breast as tightly as possible and tie each piece of string.

Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving
Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Slip sage leaves under the string and season the skin with sea salt.

Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

On a sheet pan place 1/2 head of shredded cabbage in the middle of the pan and top with excess stuffing, then place the stuffed turkey on top. Pour turkey broth and wine on to the sheet pan and cover the turkey breast with foil.

Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

Roast for an hour, then remove the foil. Roast for another hour. Check with a meat thermometer to confirm interior temp of 150°.

Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

When ready, allow to rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes. Place all of the extra cabbage and stuffing in a side dish. Slice the turkey Roulade and serve.

Turkey Roulade for Thanksgiving

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