Emeril Lagasse's Top Tips For Turkey Roulade - Exclusive

Thanksgiving is a glorious holiday for those who love to eat. For most of us, it's the biggest feast of the year and signals a day full of football and fun company. Of course, if you're the one responsible for putting the meal on the table, the prospect of the day can feel more daunting than delightful. The biggest headache of all is no doubt the turkey. Prepping, stuffing, and roasting a whole bird takes some serious effort and finesse to get it done right — lest you serve your guests some dried-out poultry that no one will feel thankful for.

So why not just skip the process altogether? Take it from the pros — like the legendary chef Emeril Lagasse — who suggests simplifying your entire Thanksgiving dinner routine by preparing a turkey roulade instead. He has perfected his own recipe for this turkey shortcut, and it's as easy as it is tasty, especially if you heed a few words of wisdom from the chef himself.

We got the chance to catch up with Lagasse ahead of the holiday season to hear all about his newest projects, talk turkey, and so much more. During the exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Lagasse shared his tried and tested tips for perfecting his turkey roulade recipe so you can enjoy the day with gratitude instead of grief.

Turkey roulade rolls the stars of Thanksgiving dinner into one easy dish

If you've never tried a turkey roulade, then you're in for a unique and highly flavorful rendition of turkey. Emeril Lagasse said he's currently "kind of on a turkey roulade kick," and it seems wise to follow the whims of a culinary giant like Lagasse whenever possible. The chef told Tasting Table that turkey roulade is perhaps the perfect method to avoid the most common pitfall we all see with turkey.

"Everybody complains that the turkey's always dry, right?" said Lagasse. According to him, this is usually the case because people are "trying to cook the legs at the same time as they're doing the breast and the breast dries out" by the time the other parts of the bird are cooked through.

So what is this dish, exactly? In essence, making turkey roulade means "you [just cook] the breast." The meat is normally stuffed with herbs, spices, and veggies, then rolled up before it's roasted in the oven. Lagasse starts by removing the wings and legs from the turkey and "cooking them separately." They can be used in other recipes or simmered, "and then you have turkey stock for your gravy, and then the legs are really nice and tender, or you can slow roast them in the oven," said Lagasse.

As for the actual roulade itself, the first step is to pound the turkey breast to tenderize it. Then, Lagasse stuffs it with "whatever dressing I want to make." Sometimes, it's his mom's Portuguese chorizo stuffing, a more cajun-style "cornbread dressing with andouille sausage." Next, Lagasse says to "roll [the turkey up] and then tie it, sear it in a cast iron pan and then finish it in the oven to the right internal temperature ... It's really delicious." Considering it takes less time and effort to prepare a whole roasted bird, we'd argue this is certainly a recipe to be thankful for when the holidays roll around.

Watching Emeril Lagasse's newest shows, "Emeril Cooks" and "Emeril Tailgates," available exclusively on the Roku Channel. Visit Chef Lagasse's website to learn more about his restaurants.