Recipe: Here comes “Turketta”

I’m not sure how the butcher persuaded me to buy some turkey (you must know that I’m not exactly a turkey fan) but here I was, back at home, staring at a couple of big thighs. What to do?

I surfed a bit the net and landed on this Turkey Porchetta Recipe on Serious Eats. It’s the site I’m turning to for inspiration, especially when I’m not familiar with the raw material 😕

As Albert Einstein once said: Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

And here’s my freely adapted version :: Roasted Turketta with Speck :: it turned out to be a delicious roast made with turkey thighs while having the distinctive flavors of the Roman porchetta. The original recipe call for turkey breast.

Recipe: Roasted Turkey Porchetta (Turketta) with Italian Speck

Sliced Turketta with Italian Speck | photo ockstyle
  • Author’s Recipe: Orsola Ciriello Kogan
  • Category: meat course
  • Cuisine: Italian, International
  • Keywords: gluten-free, meat, turkey, speck
  • Servings: 2
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium-high


  • 2 turkey medium size thighs (around 500 g or 1 lb total)
  • 5-6 slices of Italian Speck (a boned spices cured ham)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Few fresh sage leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of oil


Prepping the turkey

  1. Chop all aromatics (sage, garlic, chili, bay leaves) and mix them with salt, pepper and oil. Set aside for seasoning.
  2. Carefully remove the skin from the turkey thighs, lay the pieces flat on parchment paper, and reserve.
  3. Using a boning knife, carefully remove the meat from the bones.
  4. And now, let’s butterfly the thickest part of each thigh. Holding the knife blade parallel to the board, slice into the meat, cutting along the length of each thigh, but not all the way through.
  5. Unfold each piece of meat so it opens like a book.
  6. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until each piece has an uniform thickness.
  7. Place the meat on their skin, season and place evenly each slice of speck. Carefully roll the meat into a tight cylinder, using the skin to completely enclose it.
  8. Tie each roast tightly with butcher’s twine at regular intervals, as well as lengthwise.
  9. Transfer the cylinders into a roasting pan with rack, cover loosely with some aluminum foil and set aside.

It’s Cooking time

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (about 350°F), adjust an oven rack to center position.
  2. Season lightly the exterior of each roast with salt and pepper, cover back with the aluminum and place it in the oven. Roast for about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  3. Than remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 225°C (about 430°F), and keep cooking (turning occasionally) until the roasts are well-browned on all sides. It should take about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven, transfer to a cutting board, and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. Carve and serve it with a gravy of your choice.

Carve and serve it with a gravy of your choice.

Notes: Truth to be told I prefer to let the Turketta cool down overnight and eat it sliced the next day in a sandwich, with some crunchy lettuce, pickles and mustard.

Wine pairing

Perfect with the ruby red Alto Adige Pinot Nero DOC from the vineyard Maso Thaler (from Montagna, Bolzen, in the Italian North Eastern Alto Adige Region).

The key to success to this elegant 100% Pinot Noir is the altitude. With its dominant hints of small red fruits, and some floral and balsamic notes. The mouthfeel presents a good body, with smooth tannin and a pleasant balance.

Here’s the link to the inspiring original recipe: Turkey Porchetta