Prosciutto Wrapped Turkey Breasts in Herb Butter

In December I hosted a dinner party where I cooked turkey breasts that had been brined, then had a herb butter rubbed under the skin, then wrapped in prosciutto to be roasted, then drizzled with a little maple syrup while being allowed to rest.

Drizzled with pan juices and ready to serve

Drizzled with pan juices and ready to serve

A beautiful table setting

A beautiful table setting

I’ve decided this is the best way to cook turkey.  It takes less than an hour in the oven, is easy to carve and has sensational flavour.  The dish was so popular one of my guests changed her Christmas Day menu plans and decided to cook this on Christmas Day.  The day after the dinner party I quickly phoned my butcher and ordered two more turkey breasts so I could share the recipe with you.

Love the green plates

Love the green plates

The recipe comes from the December issue of Donna Hay Magazine.  This was the easiest turkey dish I’ve ever made.  Because you’re only dealing with the breast, the brining part of the process only takes a couple of hours.  The herb butter is no trouble to make and the carving process is a breeze.

Starting the evening with a glass of champagne

Starting the evening with a glass of champagne

I was wondering when I might re-do this recipe when we were invited to my friend, Annie’s house for a dinner party on New Year’s Eve.  I told her I had two turkey breasts in the freezer and asked if she would like me to prepare them at my house then bring them over to be cooked at her house.  She was enthusiastic in her response and so along with her smashed potatoes and crunchy salad, the menu was set for our New Year’s Eve dinner.



5.0 from 7 reviews
Prosciutto Wrapped Turkey Breasts in Herb Butter
Recipe type: Poultry
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 6-8
Maple prosciutto wrapped turkey breasts with herb butter.
  • 2 cups (500ml) white wine
  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60g) table salt
  • ½ cup (85g) brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 6 sprigs sage
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 ltr water, extra
  • 2 x 1.8kg turkey breast fillets, skin on
  • 20 slices prosciutto
  • ¼ cup (60ml) maple syrup
  • Dijon mustard and fruit chutney to serve (I used cranberry sauce)
  • Herb Butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tspns finely chopped thyme
  • 2 tspns finely chopped sage
  • 2 tspns finely grated lemon rind
  • 300g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tspns sea salt flakes
  • 2 tspns cracked black pepper
  1. To brine the turkey breasts, place the wine, the water, salt, sugar, garlic, parsley, sage, thyme and bay leaves in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brining liquid into a large non-reactive container. Add the extra water and stir to combine. Lower the turkey breasts into the brine, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours (but no longer).
  2. To make the herb butter, place the garlic, parsley, thyme, sage, lemon rind, butter, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Remove the turkey from the container, discarding the brine, and pat dry. Carefully loosen the skin from the flesh on each breast and using your fingers, push the butter mixture under the skin. Lay 10 slices of the prosciutto on a bench, overlapping slightly. Top with a turkey breast, skin-side down. Wrap the prosciutto around the turkey breast pressing to secure. Repeat with the remaining prosciutto and turkey. Line a large baking tray with aluminium foil. Place the turkey breasts on the tray and roast for 1 hour, or until golden and the juices run clear when tested with a skewer. Brush the prosciutto with maple syrup, loosely cover with foil and allow the turkey to rest for 15 minutes. Thinly slice the turkey and serve with the mustard and fruit chutney.
There is nothing attractive about a brining turkey

There is nothing attractive about a brining turkey

We had a lovely New Year’s Eve that started in a relaxing way with a glass of champagne and a cheese platter.

The herb butter has been rubbed under the skin

The herb butter has been rubbed under the skin

The boys had an evening swim in the pool while Annie and I chatted in the kitchen, keeping an eye on the progress in the oven.

Wrapped in prosciutto

Wrapped in prosciutto and ready for the oven

While the meat was resting we went upstairs to watch the 9pm fireworks that were from a distance but spectacular.

9pm fireworks

9pm fireworks

By the time the fireworks were over, the meat was ready.  Drew loved how easy it was to carve compared with battling an entire turkey.  I didn’t make a gravy but just poured the pan juices over the meat and it was taken to the table.

Having a wee rest

Having a wee rest

Despite being very well fed, after the meal we enjoyed fruit mince pies and chocolates while welcoming in the New Year.

Lovely chocolates

Lovely chocolates

Another great night with good friends and lovely food.

Ready for dinner

Ready for dinner

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  1. Wow, Charlie, very impressive indeed!

  2. That’s truly a lovely turkey breast. And the green plates/place settings are so elegant.

  3. That looks terrific. So often turkey is dry and unbearable.

    I hope you’re sitting with your feet up and relaxing. Remember, you’re doing it for both of us. 🙂

  4. I seen your photo on facebook and had to hop over to read your post and recipe. This is a lovely main course and very impressive and looks so delicious. Wishing you a super 2015!

  5. How gorgeous are those cabbage plates! Your entire spread looks terrific 😀

  6. I love the idea of this recipe–elegant, flavorful, and fast (for turkey, that is).
    Thanks for sharing, Charlie.

  7. What a FEAST for the eyes.
    Absolutely Stunning, gorgeous, deeeelish! WOW.

  8. I am getting hungry just looking at this! Yum!

  9. I must try this recipe—I don’t know why I only make turkey for Thanksgiving. I’m thinking it needs to be added to the menu soon! We’ll miss Wellington—in Rotorura now and heading to Auckland for a night before flying home 🙁

  10. What a great dish to see the New Year in with – it is easy to see why it was popular with your guests. I must try and remember it as a dinner party option.

  11. Gorgeous looking indeed 🙂 How wonderful to have such a hassle free dinner Charlie, definitely better than coping with a whole bird for sure! Brining makes such a difference to meat too, I love how you can add different herbs and flavours – yummo xox

  12. I love turkey breasts for that exact reason. They have the lovely skin and roast do quickly. That’s an interesting brineing method, guess it would work for a chicken. might just have to try that Charlie

  13. I saw this recipe and thought it looked good – so thanks for trying it for both of us!

  14. We had something similar and I was surprised at how easy it was. We made a turkey porchetta and it was almost too easy that I thought that it might not turn out. Yours looks interesting with the herb butter!

  15. I have decided that Australians really know how to party well and they all are fabulous cooks! Your friends always have fantastic spread and then your parties are pretty awesome. Either I need new friends or need to move to Austraila…close to you

  16. oh yum i love turkey and this looks fab Charlie. It seemed that everyone we knew had Mumm for New Year’s tho we bucked the trend and had the Moet that some lovely person gave to us. And every one had turducken it seems! friend after friend said they had had it for xmas lunch. tho one young son of some friends said the stuffing was disgusting. discerning taste even at a young age. (it was stuffed when they bought it)
    happy 2015!

  17. I’ve printed that and I think I may use it on Easter! What a lovely turkey breast and I agree with Drew, battling a full and stuffed turkey for whatever reason, always seems like a monumental task. This will be perfect!

  18. Okay, all caught up on your blog posts, and recipes pinned! I hope you had a very merry Christmas! I am happy to be back to blog love, I missed some delicious recipes! This turkey recipe really sounds wonderful, and so full of flavor. I hope you have a very Happy New Year! Hugs, Terra

  19. This looks stunning! So you get turkey breasts from a butcher, good to know. How clever to make up a brine including white wine, how original. This is a gorgeous recipe, which presents well and I bet, tastes even better 😀

  20. What a great way to usher in the New Year. I thought of you ( I did!) when I heard a radio broadcast of the fireworks from Sydney Harbor–I think that’s where the announcement originated. We weren’t yet even close to our festivities, but it made me happy to think of you and wonder what you were up to! So this post is quite a treat. I am definitely going to remember this recipe. I am typically the designated “turkey roaster” in the family, and I get very tired of the big old bird. This would be a joy to prepare and serve. Thank you for going through the recipe a second time and I’m sure your friend was equally thrilled. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family. ox

  21. That sure does sound wonderful Charlie, I’ve never actually brined meat before (just fish) and being just the breast makes it manageable. What a great way to usher in the new year, we went out for an early dinner with friends and they came back to our place for New Years. They slept over because they live about a 45 minute drive away.

  22. Nothing nicer than moist juicy turkey breasts, all too often they are over cooked and dry because we are waiting for the rest of the bird to cook. This year I cooked a smaller turkey and for an hour less than recommended, stuffed with a herb butter like Donna does and it was delicious. I am loving the brine method and the maple syrup additions.

  23. Proscuitto wrapped anything is amazing, I shall add to my Christmas in July menu. Looks so delicious (really want to use the word moist, sorry).

  24. Damn, this is a meat lover’s dream! Even I want a bite to be honest 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  25. What a fantastic main dinner dish! I love the way you made it, presented it & devoured it!
    MMMMMMMMM! Yulmmmmmmmmm!

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