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Holiday Stuffed Turkey - Pavo Relleno


Holiday Stuffed Turkey - Pavo Relleno

Stuffed Turkey Breast

Marian Blazes

Roast turkey is a holiday tradition in South America, and the stuffing tends to be rich and complex, spiked with dried fruits, sausage, olives and nuts. The turkey itself is often injected under the skin with wine or brandy, which makes for juicy meat and richly flavored stuffing.

You can make this recipe for stuffing and use it to fill your holiday turkey, or bake it in a separate dish. The recipe below explains how to roll the stuffing inside a turkey breast, a good option when feeding a smaller crowd.


  • One large boneless turkey breast (about 5 pounds)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1.5 pounds andouille sausage or chorizo
  • 6 pieces of bacon, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups roughly chopped stale bread pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped apricots or prunes
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 4 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sherry or brandy
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Make stuffing: Cook onion in butter until well softened. Add sausages (casings removed) and bacon pieces and cook, stirring and crumbling the sausage, until browned. Remove from heat.

  2. Stir cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper into meat and onion mixture.

  3. Stir in bread crumbs, chopped prunes or apricots, half of the almonds, and half the olives.

  4. Process mixture in a food processor, in batches if necessary, until well mixed. Place in a large bowl.

  5. Stir in the rest of the almonds and olives, and the capers. Add the sherry or brandy until mixture is moist and holds together. Set aside.

  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  7. Butterfly the turkey breast, according to these step-by-step instructions.

  8. Spread the stuffing over the butterflied turkey breast, and roll it up. Secure the roll with kitchen twine, and place the roll, seam side down, on a wire roasting rack.

  9. Set the rack in a roasting pan, and fill the bottom of the pan with a half inch of water.

  10. Brush the outside of the turkey roll with butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  11. Place the turkey in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Lower temperature to 325 degrees, and bake until turkey roll has an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 2 1/2 hours. If turkey is overbrowning in places, cover with foil.

  12. Remove turkey from oven and let cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving.

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