For small gatherings or extra white meat, try making Ina Garten's Herb Roasted Turkey Breast. This moist delicious turkey is enhanced with fresh herbs tucked under the skin.
In preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday, I have been testing some turkey breast recipes from Food Network's website.
Earlier I posted a review of a Guy Fieri recipe. The other one I tried out was Ina Garten's (the Barefoot Contessa) Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast.
This a simple turkey breast that is easy to make without too much fuss. It does not use a brine, just some seasoning directly on the meat right before cooking.
Here are my cooking notes for this recipe:
Ina Garten's Rub for Turkey Breast
I am glad that she calls for you to put the seasonings directly on the meat underneath the skin for maximum flavor. Just you look at the picture further down the page. You can see the herb mixture underneath the skin. Gets your mouth watering, huh?
I like the addition of ground mustard to the herb paste. It's doesn't stand out but just adds another dimension of flavor. I always have it on hand to add to my macaroni & cheese.
What Temperature to Set the Oven To?
Usually I start in a blazing hot oven and then reduce the temperature. I decided to follow her instructions and go with the lower temperature of 325 for the duration of the cooking. And turned out perfectly fine.
I didn't try this but if you wanted to make a gravy with the pan drippings when it's done, Ina adds in a 1 cup of dry white wine.
What Temperature to Cook the Tukrey Breast To?
One thing I do not understand if all these Food Network chef (Guy said the same thing) say check the turkey with an instant read thermometer. This is the perfect reason to use a probe thermometer. Alton Brown has been recommending it for years.
I like to know what's going on inside the meat at all times. Plus inserting and taking out an instant read thermometer leaves a hole for juices to flow out of it.
Also when you use an instant read you are opening the oven, decreasing the temperature and increasing the cooking time.
I recommend a simple probe thermometer with the ability to choose what temperature you like. Nothing with preset temperatures.
Final Thoughts on this Recipe
This turkey breast was amazing. I hit the perfect temperature of 165. The meat was very moist. I usually brine my turkey and this was just as moist. The only difference with the brine was the flavor of the brine was found in every bite of meat. The flavor of the herb mixture is just on the outside of the meat, so you need to cut it on a diagonal to get a taste in each slice.
I made this twice and both times came out equally as good. It's an easy to make turkey breast for those going for just white meat this Thanksgiving.
Make Ahead Tips
You can combine all the seasonings the day before and store them in the fridge. Or if you have the space in the fridge, you can rub the turkey with all the seasonings the day before and cover it and allow all the flavors to marinate for a day.
Be careful that nothing in the fridge touches the raw turkey. Keep it in a pan in the lowest part of your fridge.
Sides to Make with This Turkey Breast
Ina Garten's Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
- 1 whole bone-in turkey breast about 6-7 pounds
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh sage chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp good olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Place your fully defrosted turkey breast skin side up in a roasting pan.
- In a bowl combine all the herbs, dry mustard, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Mix together well to form a paste
- Gently lift up the skin of the turkey trying not to tear it and rub about half of the paste onto the meat directly
- Take the remainder of the paste and rub it on the outside of the skin.
- Insert the probe of a thermometer inside the deepest part of the breast without hitting any bone.
- Set the thermometer to go off at 165 degrees. It should take somewhere between 1 ½ and 2 hours.
- Keep an eye on the skin. If it starts to brown too quickly before the turkey is done then loosely cover it with aluminium foil.
- Give the turkey breast about 15 minutes to rest outside the oven before attempting to carve.
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