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Playing How To Make Pastrami-Style Roast Turkey By Gail Simmons

"Top Chef" judge and author of Bringing It Home, Gail Simmons stopped by to show us what she makes for Thanksgiving at her home.

Pro Tip: To butterfly a boneless turkey breast, remove and discard any netting and/or pop-up thermometer. Unroll and lay the breast flat on a cutting board, skin-side down, with the long side facing you. Holding the blade of a chef’s or boning knife parallel to the board and working from the narrowest end of the meat, make a horizontal cut halfway into the thickest part of the breast. Continue cutting until you are all but ¾ inch through, making sure not to cut all the way to the other side. Open the breast flat like a book. Cover with plastic wrap and use the back of a small, heavy skillet or meat mallet to pound out any thicker areas so that the meat is fairly uniform in thickness.

Check out more of Gail's Thanksgiving recipes:
Baked Salt & Vinegar Smashed Potatoes
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Coriander Vinaigrette
Toasted-Hazelnut Tarte au Sucre (Sugar Pie)

Adapted from Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes From A Life Of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons. Copyright © 2017 by Gail Simmons. Used with permission by Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.


  • Canola oil, for brushing
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • One 2 to 2 ½-pound skin-on boneless turkey breast half, butterflied


Serves: 4 to 6


Preheat oven to 450˚F with the rack in the middle. Lightly brush a small roasting pan or medium oven-safe skillet with oil.

Thinly slice the garlic, then mound with 1 teaspoon salt on a cutting board; using both the blade and the flat side of a chef’s knife, chop and scrape the mixture into a paste. Place in a bowl. Add the sugar, pepper, coriander, paprika, and mustard and stir to combine.

In a small saucepan, heat the butter and bay leaves over medium until the butter is melted. Set aside.

Spread the butterflied turkey breast on a cutting board skin-side up. Carefully run your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the turkey from one end, being careful not to pull the skin completely off. Spread about a quarter of the spice rub under the skin, then turn the turkey skin-side down. Spread about half the remaining rub over the meat. Roll and tie firmly with twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder. Spread the remaining rub all over the outside of the meat. Season generously and all over with ¾ teaspoon salt. Place seam-side down in the prepared roasting pan.

Spoon about half of the butter over the turkey, then place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 400˚F. Roast, basting with the remaining butter halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165˚F in the center, 40 to 45 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Slice the turkey and serve.