Friday, February 11, 2011

Roast Turkey Breast

Have you ever seen those turkey breast in bags, just like you would a whole turkey, only smaller?  They can be deceiving giving out the appearance that you will have leftovers for weeks, but trust me it’s mostly bone.  I assure you that you will also have plenty of meat, just not as much as it appears.  My grocer always has a couple defrosted next to the chicken allowing me to achieve an easy fresh roasted turkey fix anytime of the year.

The first night, I will make a basic roast turkey dinner with pan gravy.  Then if there are any leftovers they will be made up into delicious turkey sandwiches, turkey king thing (creamed turkey), chunked up to top a salad or mixed up into a batch of turkey salad.  The turkey breast will soon become history leaving you with a satisfying feeling rather than that Thanksgiving turkey overload.

Once you cook up your own brined turkey breast you may never buy deli turkey again.  This is a quick and easy method for cooking up a beautiful turkey breast for sandwiches and such.

A very important step to making a deliciously moist turkey breast is to brine your turkey overnight.  Measure ¼ cup of kosher salt, 1 T. brown sugar into 8 cups of water and mix to dissolve salt and sugar.  Place the turkey breast in the brine and put it in the fridge overnight. If you get busy and forget about it for a day or two, its ok.  When you are ready to cook your turkey breast, remove it from the brine, rinse it under cold running water and dry it with paper towels.  Rub the skin with olive oil or butter to help the skin crisp up.  There is no need to season the turkey because the brine did it for you.

My husband bought me a beautiful Le Creuset dutch oven and I plan on using it to roast my turkey because I want to make gravy to go with my turkey for the first meal.  The pot will allow me to use the same pot that I roasted the turkey in to make the gravy.  That would make this a one pot meal…

Place half an onion, a carrot, a stalk of celery (I didn’t have any) all rough chopped and a couple of cloves of garlic (smashed) in the bottom  of the pot.
Place your turkey breast on top.  Rub the skin with olive oil or butter to help the skin crisp up.  Insert a thermometer in the thickest part of the breast meat without touching the bone.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Place the turkey in the oven and cook for 10 minutes (this will help give your turkey some color.  Drop the temperature to 350 degrees.  Cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until your thermometer reads 160 degrees.  It all depends on the size of your turkey breast.  Another reason for the high temperature first is to remove as much of the fat out of the skin as possible.

When your turkey is cooked, remove it from the pot to rest and make your gravy. 


½         cup      flour
1 ½      tsp.      kosher salt
¼         tsp.      black pepper
14 oz.  can      chicken broth
1          cup      water

Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and mash veggies with a potato masher. 
Add the flour and mix well; let cook for about 3 – 5 to allow the raw flour taste to cook out, the veggies and the flour will make a lumpy mess.  Don’t worry, it will all smooth out when you add the liquid.
Add the chicken broth and water and stir with a whisk till it comes to a boil and thickens.  Season with salt and pepper.

If you want a smoother gravy, puree with a hand held immersion blender (this is what I did) or place it in your blender. 


  1. Do you cook with the lid on or off?

  2. Thank you! We're eating dinner at my cousin's this year so I slept in. But I'm cooking a Thanksgiving meal for my own family and just remembered that I returned the roaster I'd borrowed. Only thing I have to use is my 7+ Qt Le Creuset dutch oven, but I wasn't sure. Thanks for this post and the pix too - Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. sweet! one more useful recipe that uses my new le creuset! yay!
    thank you!! :)