Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite meal of the year. It’s not just that I love roast turkey or the smell of apple pie and the the long table my daughter and I set every year. I love Thanksgiving because is it that purely American holiday which gives gratitude center stage. I could go on about this wonderful tradition, but if you’d like to recreate this meal without all the fuss of the real deal, a roasted breast is the way to go. You can fill your house with amazing aromas and even have leftovers the next day.
This recipe is from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, with a few small changes I’ve added. Sorry, no carcass for soup…you’ll have to wait til November for that. But in the meantime, enjoy this wonderful entree, along with Holiday Rice Pilaf and Roasted Carrots. And don’t worry about the long list of ingredients. They’re spices you should add to your pantry anyhow.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 with a few leftovers
1 2 1/2 lb. split single turkey breast (I buy mine at Trader Joe’s)
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 T chopped fresh sage leaves (fresh sage can be hard to find, so you can substitute 1 tsp. dried)
1 T chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 T chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 T olive oil
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Place the turkey, breast side up in a roasting pan. (Set it on a roasting rack within the pan, if you have one – I like an adjustable one because it can also lay flat).
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice to make a paste.
- Gently loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers and smear half the paste on the meat, pulling the skin back over to cover. Spread the remaining paste evenly over the skin.
- Roast the turkey for about 1 1/4 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.
- When turkey is done, remove from pan and cover with foil to rest at least 15 minutes.
- For gravy: make a roux by mixing room temperature butter (or Earth Balance) and rice flour together in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Cook for a few seconds until combined and starting to brown. Add chicken stock. With a metal spatula, scrape all the fond (brown, baked on bits) and all the juices from the roasting pan into the sauce pan. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil and gravy will thicken. Strain gravy through a fine mesh sieve and pour into a small pitcher for serving.
- To slice turkey: cut breast meat off of bone, slicing as close to the breast bone as possible. You should be left with an intact breast, which you can slice and serve with gravy.