Skip to main content

Combine These Two Recipes for the Ultimate Turkey Feast

By Rebecca Hays Published

For the most unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner you’ve ever made, roast a breast porchetta-style and confit a batch of thighs.

A whole roast turkey is classic and delicious. But for a true showstopping Thanksgiving feast, prepare our two genius recipes for white meat and dark meat and serve these instead. For the white meat, our Porchetta-Style Turkey Breast, a.k.a. turchetta, is a gorgeous preparation that takes its name, shape, and seasonings from the iconic Italian pork roast called porchetta. For the dark meat, our Turkey Thigh Confit with Citrus Mustard Sauce produces the most succulent and deeply flavorful turkey you’ve ever tasted, and it’s remarkably easy to prepare. Together, these deluxe recipes will feed 12 to 16 guests, and each can largely be prepared in advance.

How to Make Porchetta-Style Turkey Breast

In this preparation, mild-mannered breast is wrapped around a gutsy herb paste that adds so much flavor, you can cross gravy off of your to-do list. Almost all the hands-on work of assembling the roast happens up front, and you can do this up to 2 days ahead. Then, on turkey day, all you need to do is cook the turchetta in a low oven and then briefly blast it over high heat to bronze the skin.

1. Use your fingers to separate skin from meat, and reserve skin.
2. Coat meat with herb paste and arrange breast halves over reserved skin.
3. Fold up each breast half over tenderloins so skin meets, and tie both ends with twine.
4. Tie roast lengthwise, and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Recipe Porchetta-Style Turkey Breast

Treat turkey the way Italians do pork, and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning, robustly seasoned, entertaining-friendly holiday roast (plus awesome leftovers).

How to Make Turkey Thigh Confit with Citrus Mustard Sauce

For dark meat lovers, it doesn’t get any better than these dense, silky thighs and their concentrated savory flavor—plus making them takes very little effort. Simply process onion, salt, pepper, sugar, and thyme in a food processor, then coat the thighs in this paste and let them cure for at least four days. As the thighs sit, the salt, sugar, and some water-soluble compounds in the aromatics gave the turkey a deeply savory flavor. Next, rinse away the cure and oven-poach the thighs in rich duck fat until they are tender, at which point they can be refrigerated for up to six days. When it’s time to serve, brown the thighs quickly in a hot oven (you can do this while the porchetta-style breast is resting) and then serve them with our bright and tangy citrus-mustard sauce.

Confit at a Glance

One more reason to love turkey confit is its terrific make-ahead potential. The process takes at least five days, but almost all the preparation time is unattended.

  • 1. Cure

    Salt turkey (along with aromatics) for 4 to 6 days.

  • 2. Cook

    Oven-poach turkey in fat for 4 to 5 hours.

  • 3. Hold 

    Refrigerate for up to 6 days. (This step can be skipped.)

  • 4. Brown

    Warm through on stovetop, then brown in hot oven.

Recipe Turkey Thigh Confit with Citrus Mustard Sauce

The hands-off, naturally make-ahead confit technique transforms turkey thighs into a silky, dense, and savory revelation.

Complete the Feast:

Recipe French-Style Mashed Potatoes (Pommes Purée)

The luxuriously rich and silky pomme puree served in Paris is the result of tedious mixing by hand and a sinful amount of butter. But does it have to be?

Recipe Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Rose Water

Give thanks for customizable flavors and forms—and a touch of nostalgia.

Recipe Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, and Parmesan

What would it take to create tender, nutty-tasting Brussels sprouts in just one pan?

Leave a comment and join the conversation!

0 Comments
Read & post comments with a free account
Join the conversation with our community of home cooks, test cooks, and editors.
First Name is Required
Last Name is Required
Email Address is Required
How we use your email?
Password is Required
JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.