Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

I've cooked an entire turkey just once in my life and I didn't eat it, of course. It came out decent, nothing to write home about, but decent. Hubby doesn't care for dark meat or eating meat off the bone, so I never cook meats with bone and I've never again made a turkey, until this past week.

On Sunday Hubby, Bambino and I were in the local grocery store and as we perused the meat section I asked Hubby if I should cook a turkey breast. I'm always looking for something new to cook and I've seen on numerous shows on the cooking channel how to cook just the turkey breast. Hubby was all for trying something new, so we went for it.

As soon as we got home I looked up recipes for brining turkey. I had first heard of brining a turkey on Sunny Anderson's show, Cooking for Real, on the Cooking Channel. Brining seemed right up my ally since I marinade all my meat. They say that if you brine the turkey it keeps the turkey moist. (Oh, so brining is basically submerging the turkey in water and other additives to assist in flavor.) I used the Brining for Dummies verson and only soaked it in water, salt and sugar.

Then I looked up recipes for roast turkey breast. I had seen Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa, people!) make an herb roasted turkey breast so I went for it. It's pretty simple to do. Just use a food processor to mix together some herbs, olive oil and garlic then rub it over the turkey and cook it in the oven.

Hubby says the results were a success and that the turkey was moist. (I insisted that he tell me the truth and not just say it was good to not hurt my feelings since he knows how hard I get on myself when dishes don't turn out right. What can I say, it's the Type A personality in me that always has to succeed. According to Freud I should blame my parents for always encouraging me to succeed, but I digress...)  Bambino had a good helping herself, so this one is definitely one to check out. If anything, at least try to brine your turkey if you have yet to do so and see how it comes out!

Click here for the brine recipe.

Click here for the herb roasted turkey breast recipe.

9 cups water
3/4 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
3lb boneless turkey breast, thawed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (Juice of one lemon, approximately)
1 cup chicken broth

1. In large crockpot (or brining bag if you have one) mix water, salt and sugar. Submerge turkey and place cover on. Place in fridge for no more than 24 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

3. In a food processor, mix garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.

4. Place turkey in a roasting pan and rub half of the herb mixture under the skin and rub the rest all over the turkey. Pour chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan.

5. Roast the turkey in the oven about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature reads to be 165 degrees with an instant read thermometer. (Place thermometer into the thickest part of the meat).

6. Cool and serve!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 3
I was always intimidated with roasting a whole turkey, but after this experience and the response from Hubby and Bambino, it's a no brainer. Taking the herbs off the stem is what takes the most amount of time! So if you're looking for a turkey recipe, this is the way to go.

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