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Roasted Turkey Breast – It’s Not Just For Weekends and Holidays

With all of the cooking I have done recently you would think most of it was just for big holiday dinners where things would be fancy with lots of courses. While it is true that that involved a lot of the recipes that I tried, I also wanted to make some things just to have at home for the 3 of us for a weeknight meal. We all really like to have turkey around here but finding a turkey that is a reasonable size for just the 3 of us is never an easy thing. Luckily this time of year you can usually get a turkey breast that is a decent size so that you can get a good meal out of it and have some leftovers to do some other things like turkey pot pie, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup or a wide variety of other things. When I made the roasted turkey breast, I used a recipe from Williams-Sonoma. It is a pretty basic recipe and a lot easier than roasting an entire turkey. This recipe takes about 2 hours so you are able to get it done during the week if you wanted to have something different for a weeknight dinner.


Roasted Turkey Breast

1 large onion, halved

2 large carrots

2 large celery stalks

1 large parsnip

1 garlic clove

1 bone-in full turkey breast, about 6 to 8 pounds

1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 to 4 cups chicken broth

Position a rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°. Place the 2 onion halves next to each other in the center of a roasting pan. Line up the carrots, celery and parsnip on either side of the onions. Place the garlic cloves in among the other vegetables.


Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels. Working your hand carefully under the skin of the turkey to avoid tearing it, separate the skin from the meat on both sides of the turkey breast, but do not detach it. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Rub the butter over the turkey meat under the skin on each side of the breast. Season the turkey breast with salt and pepper. Pull the skin down to cover the meat. If necessary, stick toothpicks through the skin and the ribs to secure the skin. Set the turkey breast, skin side down, on top of the vegetables. Pour in 3 cups of the chicken broth. Roast the turkey breast for 30 minutes.


Reduce the oven temperature to 325°. Turn the breast to rest on one side and baste with the liquid in the pan. Roast the turkey breast for another 30 minutes. Turn the turkey breast to rest on the opposite side and baste it again with the pan liquid. Roast the breast for another 30 minutes. Turn the breast skin side up and baste it again with the pan liquid. If the liquid has begun to evaporate, add the remaining 1 cup of the chicken broth to the pan. Roast the turkey breast for another 30 minutes, baste and then continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part away from the bone registers 165°, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours total cooking time at approximately 20 minutes per pound. If the top of the turkey breast begins to over brown, tent it loosely with aluminum foil.


Remove the turkey breast from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Allow the turkey breast to rest for 20 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat will rise to 170° during the 1st 10 minutes of resting, and the juices will settle. Carve the turkey breast into slices and serve immediately.


While this particular recipe does involve a little bit of work since you have to turn in baste the turkey every 30 minutes, it is certainly worth the results. You get a really nice crisp skin on the turkey and the turkey meat itself is very moist and tender. The drippings that were left in the pan make an excellent gravy as well. Of course, with just the 3 of us a 6 pound turkey breast meant there were plenty of leftovers so there will definitely be some turkey sandwiches in our future.


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!



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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Turkey


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Take on Thursday with Turkey in a Pot with Gravy

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!

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Posted by on October 2, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Poultry, Turkey


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Fancy Roasted Turkey…Okay, Roasted Turkey Breast… I Mean Roasted Half a Turkey Breast

Half a turkey breast may not even sound like a lot of meat for you, but for just the three of us it worked out fine and there were even leftovers for sandwiches the next day. If you have a  small family or are just cooking for yourself, using just a half a breast is ideal. They may not always be easy to find but if you look around in the meat area of your supermarket or ask your butcher, you may be able to find one. I actually got ours for only $4.00 and we got a full dinner and several lunches out of it, making it really worthwhile. I had to hunt around a bit to try to find a unique recipe for a piece this small. You could simply roast it in the oven, but this recipe that I found from Sweet and Crumby was just perfect and gave some great flavor to the meat.

Roasted Half Turkey Breast

1 half bone-in turkey breast with skin, rinsed and patted dry

2 teaspoons dry rosemary

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried sage

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 orange, thinly sliced

2 whole sprigs rosemary

4 large washed but unpeeled carrots

1-2 cups chicken broth

4 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl mix together the dried rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Squeeze in the orange juice and drizzle in the olive oil. Mix everything together to form a paste. Rub the paste all over the meat and skin of the turkey breast and then underneath the turkey skin.

Take the thinly sliced orange slices and tuck them under the turkey skin. in a single layer. Tuck 2 sprigs of the rosemary under the skin as well. Cut the butter into small pats and place single pats of butter all over the turkey skin and meat. Place the carrots lined up in a small roasting pan, casserole dish or cast iron skillet and the place the turkey breast on top of the carrots. Pour the chicken broth into the roasting pan, but not over the turkey and drop any remaining pieces of the orange into the pan as well. Tent the turkey with the aluminum foil and roast for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and let the turkey roast for another 30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees.

Remove the turkey from the oven and tent with a fresh piece of aluminum foil. Allow the turkey to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Roasting time here will really depend on how big of a piece of turkey you have. The breast I had was just over two pounds and was done in just over an hour. A 3 or 4 pound breast will take longer, perhaps as long as 90 minutes, so you will want to check the temperature to be on the safe side. I liked the flavors from the paste and from the orange slices. It really added something nice to the dish that you might not normally think of. You’re not going to get much in the way of juices in the pan with this one, even with adding broth to the pan, but if you add some after you remove the turkey you can make a little bit of gravy or au jus for your meal as well. Overall I would say it is a great inexpensive way to have turkey during the week for a little bit of a change from chicken.

Speaking of chicken, I have lots of chicken recipes we have used lately to share, so keep an eye out for those among the recipes I will be sharing. That’s all I have for today. Check back again next time for a new recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day, stay warm, and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Turkey


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Thanksgiving Lite – Roasted Turkey Breast with Creamy Gravy

Even though it is only just October, before you know it we will all be thinking about Thanksgiving dinner and the different dishes we are going to prepare. The great thing about this time of year is that turkey becomes not only more available, but more affordable. For the rest of the year, the price can seem quite high for a turkey. Right about now you will start to see the price creep down little by little and you may also see the availability of different turkey parts for sale as well. I came across this half a turkey breast in the store on Monday and couldn’t pass it up. It was 2 1/2 pounds, but it only cost $4.00 and we will get a dinner and lunches out of it, so it’s a great deal. I then went looking for a recipe and found this one from Rachel Ray. I did modify it somewhat, as in the recipe she makes a cranberry pomegranate sauce and had neither cranberries nor pomegranates, so I eliminated that end of it. She also makes the recipe with two split turkey breasts and since I only had one, I had to scale things down a bit. I am posting the entire recipe she uses here for you to try.

Roasted Turkey Breast with Creamy Gravy and Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

For the Turkey Breast:

1 full or 2 split boneless, skin-on turkey breasts

2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted

1 stick butter, softened

1/4 cup fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, thyme, tarragon or rosemary

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and black pepper

For the Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce:

One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar

Pinch salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 strip orange rind

1 pomegranate

For the Creamy Gravy:

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Salt and black pepper

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

For the roasted turkey breast: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the turkey breast on a baking rack over a baking sheet. Combine the garlic and softened butter with the herbs and lemon juice. Slather about 5 tablespoons of the garlic-herb butter over the turkey breast and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper., reserving the remaining garlic-herb butter for the gravy. Roast the turkey in the oven for 45 minutes.

For the cranberry pomegranate sauce: Place the cranberries in a medium saucepan with the sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, orange rind and 1 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until all the berries pop and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Cool and remove the rind and the cinnamon stick. Peel the pomegranate in a bowl of water, separating the seeds, and drain. Add the pomegranate seeds into the sauce.

For the creamy gravy: Right before serving the turkey, melt the remaining garlic-herb butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour until blended, followed by the chicken stock, to thicken. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the heavy cream and the cheese (if using) and keep the gravy warm until you are ready to serve.

Slice the roasted turkey breast and serve with room temperature cranberry pomegranate sauce and the warm gravy.

A couple of things about this recipe. I left the cheese out of the gravy since I don’t really care for cheese that much and I just didn’t think it went well with the dish. I think the gravy turned out fine without it, but if you want the added creaminess from the cheese, go for it. This recipe makes a lot of turkey, which is one of the reasons I cut it in half. The one split turkey breast was more than enough for the three of us and we had plenty of leftovers as well. I liked the flavor you get from the garlic-herb butter on the turkey and in the gravy and it did help to crisp up what little skin there was on the turkey. I served this with smashed potatoes (they weren’t mashed too much; I just used a potato masher for a bit on them) and some pan roasted asparagus. It was a nice meal that you can do in under an hour and satisfy that early season turkey craving.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I still have my Oktoberfest sausage to make tonight, a roast beef recipe for this weekend, and some other things to try like a new soup recipe and a new one for banana bread. Keep checking back to see what comes up next. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!



Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Gravy, Poultry, Sauce, Turkey


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Why Are You Roasting Turkey Today? Because It Tastes Good, That’s Why!

I do seem to pick odd times to make turkey. I think a lot of people think of it as a Fall meal, but we love turkey in our house and it’s great anytime. I made a turkey breast a few weeks ago, and I have found them on sale recently, so I haven’t been able to resist buying them. This recipe is another roasting recipe, though you could probably do this one on the grill instead if you wanted to. This is a great one pot meal with the turkey, potatoes and vegetables all in one pan.

Roast Turkey Breast With Glazed Vegetables

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 pound sweet potatoes, halved or quartered if large

1 pound small parsnips, peeled and halved

1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fronds

1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges

1/2 cup dried apricots

2 to 3 springs rosemary, plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small clove garlic, minced

Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1 skin-on, bone in turkey breast half (3 to 4 pounds)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the honey and 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl. Put the potatoes, parsnips, fennel slices, onion, dried apricots and rosemary sprigs in a roasting pan. Add 1/2 a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, drizzle with the honey mixture and toss. Roast until the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes, stirring once.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, lemon zest and chopped rosemary in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture under and over the turkey skin. Season with salt and pepper and bring the meat to room temperature.

Place the turkey on top of the vegetables in the pan; roast until the skin browns and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees, 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes (Cover with foil if the skin gets too dark.) Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes.

Toss the roasted vegetables with lemon juice and the fennel fronds. Slice the turkey and serve with the vegetables.

A few quick notes on what I did when cooking this recipe. The turkey breast I had was only 1 1/2 pounds, so I cut the recipe in half. Also, I replaced the rosemary with parsley (Michelle doesn’t care for rosemary) and I didn’t use the fennel at all (too expensive in the store and we aren’t big fans of it anyway). The remainder of the recipe stayed the same.

I love the way the turkey came out and the fact that the whole meal was done in one pan made for easy clean up. Nothing is better than nice and simple, especially on a warm day.

A quick and easy meal and recipe for today. I still have some chicken to use for tomorrow, I just haven’t decided how to use it yet. We’ll have to see what I can come up with. Enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Turkey, Vegetables


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