For the Basic Brine:
- 1 gallon ice cold water
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled, pressed
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 1 4- to 5-pound boneless, skinless turkey breast
For the Cilantro Pesto Stuffing:
- 2 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and cleaned stems
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon agave
- 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the turkey:
- For the turkey: Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound (approximately 8 slices) apple wood-smoked bacon
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
For the MOLÉ GRAVY:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 chipotles in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 cup pepitas, roughly chopped
- 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine brine ingredients and mix well until sugar and salt have dissolved. Place turkey breast into a large pot or brine bag. Pour brine over turkey breast, seal and place in fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
Prepare cilantro pesto: Combine cilantro, garlic, queso, cumin, pepitas, chile powder, lime juice, agave and olive oil in a food processor and blend until well combined but still textured. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in shredded cheese and panko breadcrumbs and set aside.
Remove turkey breast from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, make a horizontal cut down the length of the breast, opening it up like a book so you have one flat piece. Season with salt and pepper. Using a rubber spatula, smear the inside with the cilantro pesto, leaving a 1/2 –inch border around the outside. Roll up the turkey breast tightly.
Lay bacon strips out on a board slightly overlapping one another to create a “square mat”. Place rolled turkey breast on bacon and roll up tightly in the bacon completely covering it and finishing so it sits seam-side down and stays in place.
Secure tightly with kitchen twine so it has the shape of a tight cylinder. Season with salt and pepper then wrap in foil.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Place foiled turkey on a roasting tray and bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. After that time, remove from oven and peel back the foil to expose roast completely. Increase oven temperature to 350°F and roast for another 30-35 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside and internal temp is 150°F. Remove from oven, allow to rest on a cutting board.
While the turkey rests, prepare the the gravy: Take turkey roasting pan and set over medium-high heat on stove top. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, carrot and celery. Sauté until vegetables are lightly browned and wilted – about 10 minutes. Add chipotles, sesame seeds and spices, and cook until fragrant – about 5 minutes. Add broth, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add chocolate, lime juice, salt and pepper. Using a stick blender, purée the gravy until smooth.
To serve, remove kitchen twine from turkey and carve into 1/2-inch slices. Serve with Molé Gravy and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.