Sean has been asking me to make turkey for weeks, but until recently unless you bought a whole turkey around here you couldn’t really get anything at the price of turkey when the holidays are not coming around can be really high so I have been putting it off for a few weeks. Last week when I was shopping I noticed our Stop and Shop and a few turkey breast halves at a really reasonable price. They were about 3 pounds each and one of them easily provided enough for a meal for just the three of us, so I picked up two (one went right into the freezer for later use) and knew I would be able to satisfy Sean’s urge for turkey. As luck would have, the latest issue of Cook’s Country has an interesting recipe for turkey breast that I wanted to try that is called turkey in a pot with gravy.This recipe promises a moist bird with some really good gravy, so it was certainly worth a shot. The original recipe uses a whole turkey breast and I adjusted it down since I was only making a half, but I have posted the original recipe here if you want to try a whole one.
Turkey in a Pot with Gravy
1 (7-pound) bone-in whole turkey breast, wings discarded, trimmed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 250 degrees. Using kitchen shears, trim any rib bones that extend beyond the underside of the turkey breast. If any backbone pieces are still attached to the underside of the turkey, remove them as well. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and season it all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat until the oil is just smoking. Add the turkey, skin side down, and cook until the breast is well browned, about 12 to 16 minutes, rolling it from side to side as needed to make for even browning. Transfer the turkey to a plate and set it aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaf to the pot and cook until the vegetables are well browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Return the turkey and any accumulated juices to the pot, skin side up. Off the heat, place a large sheet of aluminum foil over the pot and press the edges to seal the foil, then cover the pot tightly with the lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the thickest part of the turkey breast registers 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the turkey, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.
Remove the pot from the oven and heat the broiler. Uncover the pot (be careful, the handles will be very hot as well as the lid) and brush the turkey with the melted butter. When the broiler is heated, return the pot to the oven and broil the turkey until the skin is golden brown, about 8 to 15 minutes, rotating the pot as needed for even browning. Remove the pot from the oven. Transfer the turkey to a carving board, tent the turkey loosely with foil, and allow it to rest while making the gravy.
Place the pot over medium-high heat, bring the contents to a boil and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 15 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until it is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a strong simmer, stirring often, until the gravy is thickened and measures about 2 cups, about 15 to 18 minutes. Strain the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium saucepan; discard the solids. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste. Carve the turkey and re-warm the gravy, if needed, and serve it with the turkey.
Cooking the turkey at the low temperature in the oven after browning helps to ensure that you get a moister turkey in the end and then putting it under the broiler for a bit for some additional browning gives you great, crispy skin as well. The gravy had great flavor as well thanks to the concentration you get from letting all the liquid evaporate before you make your roux. Everything about it was perfect and of course we had some stuffing, mashed potatoes and vegetables for our little mini pre-Thanksgiving meal. There were even some leftovers after just making the half breast so we could have turkey sandwiches for lunch the next day (always a favorite of mine). I may do this again with the other half breast I have in the freezer.
That’s all I have for today, check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!
November 24, 2014 at 8:24 am
Thanks so much, I just got an email from Cook’s Country tempting me to renew my on line subscription with this recipe. I am having a turkey breast for Thanksgiving because it will just be me and my husband. I googled and found your recipe. Thanks so very much, this seems easier than brining a turkey breast and trying to roast it. Will let you how how it turns out.
November 24, 2014 at 8:26 am
Virginia – I am glad you were able to find the recipe! We really liked the way the turkey came out and it was perfect for just the 3 of us without having to make a whole turkey. I hope it works out well for you. Thanks for the comment!