Monday, November 2, 2009

Slow-Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy

My Venture into Juicy Turkey

I'm not a huge fan of roasted turkey breast. It dries out easily and can be really bland sometimes. I, however, really like this recipe because the turkey breast stays nice and moist since it is cooked in a tightly covered pot. If you like crispy skin on your turkey, this recipe is not for you. When cooked, the skin will NOT be crisp. In fact, this recipe is perfect for anyone who plans to de-bone and de-skin the meat before serving.

Turkey, in general, is not my favorite protein. I think it has a foul odor when baking (no pun intended!) and can be a little bland and unexciting. For roasted turkey, I prefer dark meat but eat it rarely since it is more fattening than the white. All that said, I do like to use ground turkey in many dishes. I also love sliced turkey breast from the deli.

You will notice I did not add any fresh herbs to the turkey breast. I, personally, do not like to cover up the taste of poultry with a lot of herbs. I also don't like the herbal taste it gives to the drippings. Personal preference. You, certainly, could use whatever herbs you want. If you plan to use herbs, I highly recommend fresh thyme because I think it goes great with turkey or chicken.

If I'm not that fond of turkey breast, why did I make it? Well, that's easy. It was on sale (buy one, get one free). Saving money on food always makes it taste better. So, I bought two, baked one, and gave the other one to my mother. She LOVES turkey and I think she has an entire flock of turkeys in her freezer. I also thought it would be good to post a turkey recipe now in case you're looking for things to make for Thanksgiving. This recipe is a great (and SIMPLE!) way to prepare turkey for any small gathering. To complete the meal, make some mashed potatoes and bake some dinner rolls and people will shower you with money. This is comfort food at its finest. Enjoy – and happy roasting!

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Slow-Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy
(Printable Version)

1-8 to 9 lb Bone-In Turkey Breast
Salt to taste
1 1/2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Turkey Gravy
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP flour
4 cups turkey drippings and broth
Chicken broth (if needed)
Salt and pepper to taste

Adjust your oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat oven to 250F.

Rinse and dry the turkey breast. Even when I purchase a brined turkey breast, I still like to lightly salt the turkey breast under the skin. You, of course, do not have to. If the turkey breast that you purchase has NOT been brined or koshered, liberally salt the breast under the skin.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat with the oil. When hot, add the turkey, breast-side down. Add the onion around the edges of the bird. Add the garlic on top of the onions. Cook several minutes or until the skin has browned. Flip the bird over so that the breast is facing upward. Stir the onions and garlic. Cook a couple minutes longer. If you have a probe thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the breast – making sure the probe is not sticking up in the air in a way that would impede your covering the turkey breast with a lid. Cover the pot with aluminum foil and top with a tight-fitting lid. Crimp the foil around the seam of the pot to ensure steam does not escape. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160F – roughly 2 1/2 hours.

When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and flip the bird over so that the breast is submerged in the accumulated juices. Cover and let rest 15 minutes. During this time, the internal temperature will increase to at least 170F.

Remove the turkey from the pot and place it on a large platter. Keep it tented so it stays warm. Strain the liquid and solids from the pot into a large bowl. Use the back of a ladle to make sure you smash the onion/garlic to extract all of the juices. Discard the vegetable solids. Skim some or most of the fat that settles on top of the broth and discard any unwanted fat. Measure how much turkey broth you have. If you do not have at least 4 cups, add some chicken stock to come up to a total of 4 cups of liquid. If you like particularly thin gravy, you can add an extra 1/4 to 1/2 cups of turkey/chicken broth. If you like thicker gravy, reduce the liquid by 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

To make the gravy, heat a saucepan over medium heat with three tablespoons of butter. After the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook the butter/flour mixture for about 5 minutes or until it is brown in color. Add the turkey broth and whisk to make sure there are no lumps. Bring to a boil then simmer about 5 minutes. Too thin? Simmer another few minutes or until the gravy is your desired thickness. Too thick? Add more turkey broth, chicken broth, or even water. When the gravy is your desired level of thickness, taste it and add some salt and pepper, if needed. You'll probably need at least some salt.

Serve the turkey breast and gravy with some mashed potatoes.


  1. Hello Blog Buddies!
    Due to a known problem with the blogging software I use on this website, you may get an error when you attempt to post a comment. If you try to leave a comment and get an error, simply click the "Post Comment" button again. It should work after clicking the "Post Comment" button one or two additional times.

  2. LOVE roasting turkey breasts! I like to rub them with McCormick's BBQ spice. Adds a little zing and it doesn't taste so Thanksgiving-y. Yes, that's a word. :)

  3. BBQ spice? What a great idea! Last year, I roasted a turkey breast with chipotle seasoning. Very yummy (but spicy)!

  4. You know, adding a little sage - or poultry seasoning - or an onion - will help mask that gaggy smell of turkey. I really notice the smell when I take the wrapped up, leftover turkey out of the fridge. Gag.


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