1 whole skinned turkey breast

4 teaspoons Frank Davis Poultry Seasoning

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/2 pound block Velveeta cheese

1 can Rotel tomatoes with diced chillies, 10-ounce size

1 pound thinly sliced lean, center cut bacon, half cooked and half raw

1cup thinly sliced green onion tops

8 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Pilgrim-Style Sausage Stuffing

First, prepare the whole turkey breast as follows:

Split the breast into a left and right half, very carefully remove the breast bone, and discard it.

Now, one at a time, place each half onto a cutting board (use one that is safe and sanitary for cutting meats.) Then begin fashioning the breast sections into large, thin, pliable cutlets which are uniform in size. You do that as follows:

With the breast half smooth side down, start by making a cut lengthwise (thick portion at the top of the board, tapered portion at the bottom end closest to you) directly down the middle of the fillet (almost as if you were going to split the half 'in half' again). But don't cut all the way through stop about a half inch or so from the cutting board.

Then at the bottom of the cut, turn the knife blade to the left and evenly slice outward, creating a 'butterfly' effect. At the end of the cut (stopping at the outermost edge of the meat without cutting all the way through), flip the cut portion over to the left on the cutting board and continue making 'butterfly' cuts until you get the entire piece lying open like a 'cutlet.'

At this point, repeat the process on the right side of the fillet until the entire breast is lying flat. Then repeat the procedure on the remaining piece of breast meat. When making the butter-flying cuts, attempt to keep an even thickness throughout. What you want to end up with is two large turkey-breast cutlets.

Obviously you will have to use a very sharp knife preferably a boning knife to do this. And in the end it will take several horizontal slices through the turkey breasts to give you a turkey breast that is one-fourth of its original thickness.

Note: You shouldn't expect to do this perfectly the first time out! It takes a bit of practice, and you might not get it just right the first time you do it. But you can do it. And don't be concerned if the knife accidentally cuts all the way through the meat during this stage, as the process of rolling it up during assembly will negate the accidental knife slip.

When the meats are flattened they still need to be pounded out! Again, working one breast half at a time, rest the turkey on a sheet of commercial plastic wrap. Then place another sheet of plastic wrap over the turkey.

Then using a heavy meat mall or a small, flat-bottom, cast iron skillet, meticulously begin beating out the meat to make it 'even flatter.' When they're thin enough to almost read a newspaper through them, season them, cover them with another sheet of plastic wrap, and stash them in the refrigerator until you're ready to stuff them.

When it's time to cook, heat your oven to 375 degrees. Then, in a food processor, combine the Velveeta and the Rotels until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and lay it out on the countertop over a large sheet of freezer wrap (this step saves lots of cleanup!).

Now form the pinwheels by:

  • 1. Spreading a thin layer of the cheese mixture evenly over one side of the flattened meat;
  • 2. Placing a layer of crumbled bacon strips on top of the cheese; and
  • 3. Lightly sprinkling on a layer of sliced green onions and a little minced garlic.
  • 4. Finish up the stuffing procedure by spreading a thin layer of the sausage mixture over the ingredients laid out on the breast half.

The next step is to tightly roll up the filets and set them aside momentarily. Then on the same work surface, lay out the remaining half-pound of uncooked strips of bacon side by side and put one of the roll-ups on top. Complete the prep by wrapping the bacon strips around the turkey and pinning them in place with toothpicks. When done properly, the rollup should be completely encased in the bacon strips. Repeat the process with the other rollup.

All that's left is to take a sharp knife and slice the turkey rollups into pinwheels the thickness of the bacon strips (each 'wheel' should have at least 1 toothpick holding it together).

Finally, gently position the wheels on a shallow-sided sheet pan which you've lined with parchment paper. To cook properly, they should be slightly touching each other. Now bake them uncovered for about 40 to 45 minutes. A light cheesy sauce will form in the bottom of the sheet pan, which you can use to baste the pinwheels as they cook. Just a word of caution do not overcook them. They will turn out dry and chewy instead of juicy and tender!

Happy Franksgiving!


Chef's Notes:

1. To insure food safety, my advice is to cook the pinwheels to a 160-degree internal temperature on an instant read thermometer.

2. Here's a trick to move and position the 'wheels' and still have them stay tightly wrapped together, slide a metal egg turner under them first. Viola!