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~ Let's Talk an Easy Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving ~

6a0120a8551282970b0240a4c48035200dThe frost was on the pumpkins, the leaves are off the trees, and Thanksgiving will be here in a few blinks of the eyes.  If you are one of the many trying to scale back on cost without sacrificing taste or tradition, or have no need to cook an entire bird, or simply have no desire for all the fanfare, or, simply want some white-meat turkey for a few simple turkey sandwiches (in place of over-salted deli-meat), it's worth considering purchasing 1-2 turkey breasts this year in place of a giant bird.  Two whole breasts will yield almost twice as much meat for about the same price (sans the dark meat of course), and, will yield enough of flavorful drippings to make a nice amount of gravy too.  Don't want to make gravy?  No worries.  That's optional.  Relax and enjoy.

Lots of tender all-white turkey in less time w/lots less mess:

IMG_60471  whole turkey breast, completely thawed if frozen, and, removed from refrigerator 2 hours prior to roasting so it is not remarkable cold when placed in the oven

1  14 1/2-ounce can chicken stock (if you want to make gravy), or, 2 cups water (if you don't want to make gravy)

1  medium onion, coarse-chopped

2  medium stalks celery, coarse-chopped

1  teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, or, 2 medium sprigs fresh rosemary

freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend

IMG_6050 IMG_6050 IMG_6050 IMG_6050~Step 1.  In the bottom of a 13" x 9" x 4" disposable aluminum roasting pan, place the chicken stock (or water), chopped onion, celery and rosemary (the aromatics will impart flavor and moisture into the bird).  Insert a rack into the pan and place the turkey breast, skin side up, on the rack.  Generously season the top of the turkey with freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend. Cover and tightly seal the pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil, being careful to prevent any rips or tears in the foil, which would allow steam to escape during the roasting process.  If you do rip or tear the foil, no matter how small it appears to be, be sure to start over with a new piece.

On lowest rack of preheated 350 degree oven, roast:

1 hour, 30 minutes (for a 3-3 1/2-pound split, turkey breast half)

1 hour, 45 minutes (for a 4-4 1/2-pound split, turkey breast half)

2 hours (for a 5-6-pound whole turkey breast)

2 hours, 15 minutes (for a 6-7-pound whole turkey breast)

2 hours, 30 minutes (for a 7-8-pound whole turkey breast)

2 hours, 45 minutes (for an 8-9-pound whole turkey breast)

3 hours (for a 9-10-pound whole turkey breast)

IMG_6063~ Step 2.  Remove roasting pan from oven and allow to rest about 15 minutes.  Slowly and carefully remove the foil -- hot steam is going to escape which can burn you. Place the same sheet of foil, "wet" side up on the counter, transfer the turkey to the foil, tightly seal the foil up and around it, and patiently allow the turkey breast to rest about 30-45-60 minutes prior to slicing and serving hot, warm, room temperature or cold the next day. Do not be inclined to skip this step.

IMG_6076 IMG_6076 IMG_6076~ Step 3.  While the turkey breast is resting, pour the flavorful pan drippings through the strainer of a fat-lean separator.  You will have about 3 1/2 cups of flavorful drippings to make gravy.  After the turkey has rested, remove each breast half from the breast bone on both sides.  With the aid of a sharp paring knife, these will pull away from the bones cleanly and easily. Slice and serve warm, at room temp or cold.

Served hot or cold, tender all-white turkey meat can't be beat:

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c73b0210970bLet's Talk an Easy Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving: 3-4 hearty servings from each breast half, and, 4-6 sandwiches from each breast half.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; 13" x 9" x 4" disposable aluminum roasting pan; wire rack; aluminum foil; fat-lean separator; paring knife

6a0120a8551282970b01bb07d02735970dCook's Note:  'Tis the season for mashed potatoes:  the Thanksgiving turkey feast, then, the Christmas prime rib feeding frenzy, and, shortly after, the clock ticks down to the mother-of-all pork festivals:  New Year's Day.  In a moment of reflection, it occurred to me that the combined total of these three holidays equates to approximately 50-60 pounds of heavy hunks of roasted meat, and, about 25-30 pounds of potatoes mashed.  Read my post:  ~ Basic Machinations for Mashed Potato Perfection ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022)


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