Cooking Turkey Breast for Smaller Family

This morning I had an awesome question from a dear friend from Italy. She wanted to know how to cook just the turkey breast instead of the whole bird.

Awesome question V !

I noticed a lot of couples are asking this same question. Head over to your local butcher or favourite Supermarket and pick up either a fresh turkey breast. Turkey breasts are much larger then chicken, so just keep that in mind when cooking it.

First and foremost, keep the skin on the Turkey breast.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take 1/2 cup of fresh butter and place it in a bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon of sage, 1/8 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, a pinch of fresh minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoons of paprika ( not smoked, just regular). Season it lightly w/ a sprinkle of pepper. ( preferable white pepper ; however black pepper is fine )

Mix all the above. Put 1/4 cup to the side for later ( I’ll explain why later )

Pat down your turkey breast with a paper towel and take half ( 1/8 cup ) of your butter mixture and generously stuff it underneath the skin of the Turkey breast.

If you’re lucky to find a sprig of fresh thyme or basil, then place that under the turkey skin too.

Mix other half butter mixture ( 1/8 cup ), spread generously on top of skin breast too. If you want you can just lightly sprinkle olive oil on top of the breast, instead of butter mixture. But you do need the butter mixture underneath the skin. That’s important to add flavour.

Place Turkey breast skin side up in in roasting pan with a metal grate. If you don’t have a grate, just make a couple of rings out of tinfoil, so you can place turkey on top of rings.

So — to make sure your turkey breast does NOT dry out, place a loose cover of tinfoil on top. Not tight. A lid will steam the Turkey and you don’t want that to happen. Depending on the size of your turkey breast, cook between 60 minutes.

Remove the tinfoil and let cook for another 20 – 30 minutes or until you see clear juices. Take a thermometer and make sure the internal temperature is at 165 degrees F. Carful not to overcook it either or it will become dry.

Take the turkey breast out of the oven and let it rest covered on cutting board for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, now take that 1/4 cup of butter I was talking about earlier and deglaze the same pan the turkey was in, under low heat. Melt the butter and add 1/4 cup of flour. Mix in and cook under medium to low heat. Keep stirring until the roux ( flour and butter ) becomes a blondish colour. Add 1/8 teaspoon of sage; mix in. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of warm chicken stock. Stir with wire whip until it’s nice and smooth. Return to burner under medium heat and cook the gravy until there’s no flour taste. Taste it. Season lightly with salt and pepper if needed. Approximately 6 – 8 minutes…

Now your turkey breast will be ready to slice. Slice thinly and place on plate. Generously add your turkey gravy. Don’t forget the mashed potatoes and butternut squash too !

Cheers !

Chef Bari

Check out Banquet Stuffing and Cooking a Whole Turkey

Please support my efforts by buying my book. I truly appreciate your patronage.

In the USA please CLICK HERE to Purchase my Book Canadian Recipes of the Great White North

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

May we be thankful for what we have and of course, sharing it with your family and friends.

Chef Bari


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