We are staying home this Thanksgiving since the girls have a Cheerleading competition on Black Friday. Jim’s parents will be coming down so while we are having company (yay!) it will still just be the six of us so not a huge crowd to feed. In the spirit of trying to keep things simple I have decided I am just cooking a turkey breast instead of my usual 12 pound bird with turkey for days…..
Usually a few weeks before Thanksgiving I start watching the store circulars because turkey breasts go on sale. I love cooking just the breast because it s so easy and we slice it up and use it for a bunch of different meals. Jim will take some for sandwiches at work and I will usually get a meal or two out of the meat. When you think about buying turkey from the deli at 9 -10 dollars a pound (Boar’s Head is 10.99 at my grocery store) you can’t go wrong with Turkey breast on sale for $1.29 a pound. I usually buy a bunch and keep them in my freezer. Even buying Organic or All Natural would be a lot cheaper, better for you…and so much better tasting!
With my turkey I usually like to keep things simple. This is a GREAT recipe and you could easily adapt this to a whole turkey. The paste that you make gets so much flavor from the fresh herbs, garlic and lemon juice – you honestly don’t need anything else to have amazing tasting turkey. If you don’t believe me just ask Ina cause this is her recipe and she knows all! I used herbs from my herb garden (what’s left of it) and I really needed a little bit more so when I make this for Thanksgiving I will have to buy the rosemary and thyme ( or steal if from a neighbor’s garden.)
The meat on this turkey was so moist and the pan juices are wonderful. They get a great flavor from the wine and the drippings flavored with herbs, garlic and mustard. You will seriously have to hold yourself back from eating it with a spoon. Don’t forget you can use those juices to make a wonderful gravy, too! Or if you aren’t making gravy just drizzle over the meat when it is all sliced. If you aren’t sure how to make gravy a good method can be found here. Just remember that since you are only cooking a breast you won’t get quite as much pan drippings and fat as you would with a whole bird.
If you aren’t having a big crowd this Thanksgiving don’t feel like you have to cook a whole bird. Give yourself a bit of a break and just cook a turkey breast like this herb roasted turkey breast. If you would like some more recipes for cooking the bird on the big day here are some other options for you. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe is on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe but originally from America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker revolution. I have made this a few time and it turns out so amazing and moist. The only downfall is no crispy skin:-). I wouldn’t hesitate to make this on Thanksgiving though because it does make awesome GRAVY!
Ina’s Perfect Roast Turkey – I have never made this recipe but the seasoning is very similar to this herb roasted turkey breast so I’m sure it is wonderful. You could also add some other herbs like rosemary as you wish.
Simple Roast Turkey with Rich Gravy – This recipe shows you how to make gravy and I also bet the skin gets nice and crisp since you start at such a high temp. I prefer to make gravy ahead of time since things can get crazy right before the meal (and I hate skimming fat) but if you are making gravy from your turkey this sounds like a great recipe.
If you are cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving don’t forget to buy it ahead. Allow 5 hours per pound for thawing time and put it on a tray on the bottom shelf (that way you don’t have to worry about it dripping on something below.)
For some great instructions on cooking a turkey for beginners (or even if you just need a little support) check out these instructions from Barefeet in the Kitchen.
Source: The Food Network
- 1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 pounds
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup dry white wine (can sub chicken broth but the wine gives the gravy a nice flavor)
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and place your turkey on a rack in a roasting pan - skin side up.
- In a small bowl combine garlic, dry mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice and stir into a paste. Loosen the skin for the meat gently as not to tear and smear half of the paste on the meat. Spread the rest onto the skin. Pour the wine into the roasting pan.
- Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. If the skin is getting too brown before fully cooked, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.