SERVES: 8-10 guests
For the brine and turkey
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
7/8 oz kosher salt (2 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1-1/2 Tbsp. Morton)
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 medium cloves garlic, halved
2 1-1/2-lb boneless, skinless turkey breast halves
For the roulades
1/3 cup fine fresh breadcrumbs
4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel pollen or ground fennel
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6oz. fontina cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1 lb bacon
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
For the jus
2 oz (4 Tbsp.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
6 fresh sage leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
1 tsp fresh lemon juice; more to taste
Brine the turkey
Combine the sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, and 4 cups water in a 3-quart saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Transfer to a large nonreactive container or bowl and let cool to room temperature. Put the turkey in the brine, adding up to 4 cups water, if necessary, to just cover the turkey. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 and up to 24 hours.
Assemble the roulades
In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic, sage, and fennel pollen. Remove the turkey from the brine, brush off any spices, and pat dry. Put each breast skin side down between two large pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet (or a heavy skillet), pound each into a 9 to 10-inch rectangle that’s an even 1/2 inch thick. Remove the top piece of plastic. Evenly sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over the two cutlets, then sprinkle with the fontina cheese. Fold in the longer sides of each cutlet by 1/2 inch. Then, starting at a short end, tightly roll up each cutlet into a compact roulade. Arrange half of the bacon slices (about 10) on a clean large sheet of plastic wrap, overlapping each slice lengthwise so it covers about one third of the slice below it; you want the width of the bacon slices to be the same length as the roulade. Set one of the roulades in the center of the bacon slices, perpendicular to the slices and seam side up. Using the plastic, wrap the bacon up and around one side of the roulade. Repeat with the other side. The bacon should meet or overlap at the ends; if it doesn’t, stretch the bacon slices until they meet. Secure the ends of the bacon with 2 or 3 toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining bacon and roulade.
Roast the roulades
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Heat the oil in a medium flameproof roasting pan over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Put the roulades in the pan seam side up, turn the heat down to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until the edges of the bacon strips are beginning to brown, about 4 minutes; the bacon will not be crisp at this point. Using tongs, turn the roulades and cook for 1 minute more per side to lightly color the bacon, finishing with the roulades seam side down. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each roulade registers 165°F, about 35 minutes. Transfer the roulades to a cutting board and let rest for at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour before slicing.
Make the jus
Pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a fat separator and let the fat rise to the top. Return 1 Tbsp. of the fat to the roasting pan; discard the remaining fat and reserve the defatted drippings. Set the roasting pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. of the butter, the shallots, and sage. Cook, stirring often, until the shallots are soft, about 3 minutes. Lightly season with pepper, then add the broth, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the reserved drippings, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until the jus has a full, rich flavor. Bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and add the remaining 3 Tbsp. butter, one piece at a time, whisking until the butter is incorporated into the sauce. Remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Season to taste with more lemon juice, pepper, or salt.
Remove the toothpicks from the roulades, slice, and serve with the jus.