Combine These Two Recipes for the Ultimate Turkey Feast

For the most unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner you’ve ever made, roast a breast porchetta-style and confit a batch of thighs.

Published Nov. 2, 2021.

A whole roast turkey is classic and delicious. But for a true showstopping Thanksgiving feast, prepare our two genius recipes for white meat and dark meat and serve these instead. For the white meat, our Porchetta-Style Turkey Breast, a.k.a. turchetta, is a gorgeous preparation that takes its name, shape, and seasonings from the iconic Italian pork roast called porchetta. For the dark meat, our Turkey Thigh Confit with Citrus Mustard Sauce produces the most succulent and deeply flavorful turkey you’ve ever tasted, and it’s remarkably easy to prepare. Together, these deluxe recipes will feed 12 to 16 guests, and each can largely be prepared in advance.

Jump to a Section

How to Make Porchetta-Style Turkey Breast

In this preparation, mild-mannered breast is wrapped around a gutsy herb paste that adds so much flavor, you can cross gravy off of your to-do list. Almost all the hands-on work of assembling the roast happens up front, and you can do this up to 2 days ahead. Then, on turkey day, all you need to do is cook the turchetta in a low oven and then briefly blast it over high heat to bronze the skin.

1. Use your fingers to separate skin from meat, and reserve skin.
2. Coat meat with herb paste and arrange breast halves over reserved skin.
3. Fold up each breast half over tenderloins so skin meets, and tie both ends with twine.
4. Tie roast lengthwise, and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Porchetta-Style Turkey Breast

Treat turkey the way Italians do pork, and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning, robustly seasoned, entertaining-friendly holiday roast (plus awesome leftovers).
Get the Recipe

Sign up for the Cook's Insider newsletter

The latest recipes, tips, and tricks, plus behind-the-scenes stories from the Cook's Illustrated team.

How to Make Turkey Thigh Confit with Citrus Mustard Sauce

For dark meat lovers, it doesn’t get any better than these dense, silky thighs and their concentrated savory flavor—plus making them takes very little effort. Simply process onion, salt, pepper, sugar, and thyme in a food processor, then coat the thighs in this paste and let them cure for at least four days. As the thighs sit, the salt, sugar, and some water-soluble compounds in the aromatics gave the turkey a deeply savory flavor. Next, rinse away the cure and oven-poach the thighs in rich duck fat until they are tender, at which point they can be refrigerated for up to six days. When it’s time to serve, brown the thighs quickly in a hot oven (you can do this while the porchetta-style breast is resting) and then serve them with our bright and tangy citrus-mustard sauce.

Confit at a Glance

One more reason to love turkey confit is its terrific make-ahead potential. The process takes at least five days, but almost all the preparation time is unattended.


Salt turkey (along with aromatics) for 4 to 6 days.


Oven-poach turkey in fat for 4 to 5 hours.


Refrigerate for up to 6 days. (This step can be skipped.)


Warm through on stovetop, then brown in hot oven.

Turkey Thigh Confit with Citrus Mustard Sauce

The hands-off, naturally make-ahead confit technique transforms turkey thighs into a silky, dense, and savory revelation.
Get the Recipe

Complete the Feast

French-Style Mashed Potatoes (Pommes Purée)

The luxuriously rich and silky pomme puree served in Paris is the result of tedious mixing by hand and a sinful amount of butter. But does it have to be?
Get the Recipe

Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Rose Water

Give thanks for customizable flavors and forms—and a touch of nostalgia.
Get the Recipe

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, and Parmesan

What would it take to create tender, nutty-tasting Brussels sprouts in just one pan?
Get the Recipe


This is a members' feature.