Nov 15, 2013

Pancetta and Rosemary Turkey Breast with Roasted Potatoes and Apple RelishRecipe by Jamie Purviance

Rating: 5 stars

6 Reviews

Serves: 6 // Prep time: 1 hour | Grilling time: about 1 hour 20 minutes | Special equipment: butcher’s twine, large disposable foil pan, perforated grill pan

Grocery List

Fresh Produce

  • 2 ribs celery
  • .25 oz fresh rosemary
  • .25 oz fresh sage
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemons
  • 2 lb new potatoes, each about 1½" in dia
  • 2 sweet-tart apples, each about 8 oz
  • 1 yellow onions

Meat / Poultry / Seafood

  • 1 boneless turkey breast half (with skin), each about 3 lb
  • 4 oz pancetta

Oil and Spices

  • 1.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.75 tbsp vegetable oil


  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Special Equipment

  • butcher’s twine
  • 1 large disposable foil pans
  • perforated grill pan


  • 1 boneless turkey breast half (with skin), about 3 pounds, butterflied
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a press
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • ½ large yellow onion, cut into ½-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 sweet-tart apples, such as Pink Lady or Jazz, each about 8 ounces, unpeeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice (about 3 generous cups)
  • 2 ribs celery, finely sliced (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar

  • 2 pounds new red potatoes, about 1½ inches in diameter, each cut in half


  1. Place the butterflied turkey breast, skin side down, between two large sheets of plastic wrap, and pound to an even ½-inch thickness (the size of the turkey breast will be approximately 12 by 11 inches).

  2. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the rosemary, the sage, lemon zest, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the turkey breast, and then roll up the turkey breast lengthwise to create a cylinder. Cover with the pancetta slices, overlapping them slightly, and then tie the cylinder with butcher’s twine at 2-inch intervals to secure the pancetta and maintain its shape. Brush the outside all over with the melted butter. Season evenly with 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

  3. Before you light the grill, place a large disposable foil pan underneath the cooking grate to catch the pancetta drippings. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

  4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Center the turkey over the foil pan and grill over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160° to 165°F, about 1 hour 20 minutes, turning two or three times. Meanwhile, make the apple relish.

  5. In a medium skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add the sage and swirl to release its fragrance, 20 to 30 seconds. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the apples and celery and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the water, lemon juice, honey, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the apples are no longer crunchy but are still slightly firm to bite, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

  6. After the turkey has cooked for about 40 minutes, place a perforated grill pan on the cooking grates over direct medium heat and preheat for 10 minutes. Put the potatoes in a medium bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons oil, the remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the grill pan and grill over direct medium heat until browned in spots and tender, 20 to 25 minutes, turning occasionally.

  7. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the twine and cut the turkey crosswise into ½-inch slices. Serve warm with the potatoes and the relish.

6 Reviews

Average Rating

Rating: 5 stars

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Rating: 5 stars

Nov 18, 2013

Paul V

An early taste of Thanksgiving!

We tried this recipe yesterday, though with a slight modification. Our local supermarket didn't have pancetta, so we used prosciutto instead. We also used some prosciutto in the stuffing as well.

The recipe suggested an hour of prep time and one hour and 20 minutes for cooking. It was more like an hour and a half of prep time and one hour of cooking.

I made the apple relish first and let that cool while I started working with the turkey breast. The turkey breast came in a mesh wrap and when I removed the wrap it turned out to be about three different chunks of turkey breast, along with a big blob of skin. That made rolling it a challenge. We ended up wrapping one large chunk and putting it in the freezer for future reference (besides there are just two of us), and then did the rest in another chunk. We actually wrapped the cylinder in prosciutto, instead of just as a cover. It helped hold things together, even with tying it.

In any event, it took less than an hour to grill the turkey, which was fine. I took it off to 'rest' while I finished roasting the potatoes.

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner. If we have a need to come up with a "deconstructed" Thanksgiving dinner, this would be perfect.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Nov 29, 2013

Tom S

Impress your guests

Really great. I made this the week before Thanksgiving when everyone was looking forward to turkey. This was something different and really impressed our guests. They thought it was better than any restaurant. Not really that difficult to make either. No one thought it came from the grill.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Dec 2, 2013

Bernadette G

Easy and Fabulous

This year, with only three of us for T-day, I didn't want to cook a whole bird, but I still wanted an impressive main dish. It turned out absolutely wonderful, very moist and flavorful, and really wasn't a lot of work. Great recipe!

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Dec 22, 2013

Steve C

Excellent way to cook a turkey breast

I didn't do the potatoes, but may try that the next time. The turkey breast was delicious! Hard to go wrong wrapping anything in bacon. Will definitely try this one again.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Dec 28, 2013

Michael Z

Perfect Christmas Eve Entree

This was a great way to serve turkey for Xmas Eve. The citrus combines very well with any Cranberry dishes you might compliment the meal with. The Turkey came out juicy, tender and very flavorful. It definitely was worth shoveling off the patio to make.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

Rating: 5 stars

Jul 27, 2014

bonnie h

impress your guests!

The turkey is elegant-looking and tastes great! I did not make the sides so cannot comment on them.

Type of Griller


Would you recommend this recipe? YES

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Pancetta and Rosemary Turkey Breast with Roasted Potatoes and Apple Relish