Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
T-1 WEEK, people!!! It’s all Thanksgiving all the time for the next week, and I am psyched. Your weird blog lady lives and breathes for this holiday—it’s basically Domesticate ME!’s Super Bowl—so I hope you’re ready to leave it all out on the field next Thursday. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t LOSE, etc. Virtual butt slap.
Today I’m gonna walk you through my favorite quick and easy turkey recipe/shortcut, but before we dive in, I want to highlight a few pre-existing T-Day resources for those of you looking for menu inspiration and hosting support. You can find all of my favorite recipes for everything from salads and sides to desserts and leftovers rounded up here and here. And if you’re roasting a whole bird, you can brush up on your turkey skillz here. Oh, and in case you missed it yesterday, I put together some idiot-proof hosting tips to help you keep your shit together on the big day.
As per usual, feel free to hit me up with any questions via email or social media over the course of the coming week. I’m happily at your service.
Moving on to turkey! I’m all about roasting a big old bird on Thanksgiving, but to be perfectly honest, it can be a lot. Especially if you’re hosting a small holiday dinner. (There were a couple years my roommate and I did Thanksgiving on our own, and we had so many leftovers, I thought I’d never be able to eat turkey again.) Enter: The Boneless Turkey Breast.
A 2½ to 3-pound turkey breast will comfortably serve four, so it’s perfect for tinier T-Day dinners as well as Friendsgiving celebrations, which don’t require the fanfare and time commitment of a whole bird centerpiece. It’s also ideal for those with smaller ovens that can’t fit a large turkey (wassup, NYC?!). With that said, if you’re doing a big Thanksgiving, making a few extra turkey breasts in addition to your whole bird is a great idea if your family/friends tend to shy away from dark meat. (I come from a family of white meat eaters, so the dark meat on our turkey often went to waste.)
I’ve experimented with many a turkey breast rub and roasting technique, but this Lemon-Herb Roasted Turkey Breast is a personal favorite. It’s super flavorful thanks to a simple rub of dried rosemary and thyme, lemon zest, salt, and fresh ground pepper, but the most amazing thing about this turkey is that it’s outrageously MOIST (sorry). Turkey breast gets a bad rap for being sad and dry, but that’s because most peeps fear undercooked poultry and therefore tend to seriously overcook it. I’ve found that roasting the breast at a low temperature (300 degrees vs. 350/375) helps to keep the meat nice and juicy, and despite the “slow-cooking,” it still only needs about an hour and 15 minutes of cook time. Just be sure to take it out of the oven when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 163-165 degrees.
Speaking of instant-read thermometers, I beg you to invest in one. Not just for Thanksgiving but for life in general. Logan gave me one for Christmas circa 2012, and he claims it’s the only one of his presents that I actually use. (So melodramatic!) But I really do love mine, and it gets more action than any other tool in my kitchen. I use it for everything from turkey and chicken to beef and pork roasts, and even steaks—eliminating the guesswork is a game changer. In case you’re curious, I have this one, and it’s awesome because an alarm goes off when your meat reaches the desired temp. Booyakasha.
p.s. This turkey breast recipe/technique can be used year-round!! It’s the perfect small roast for a dinner party, but it’s still quick and easy enough for a weeknight meal. The turkey is also great for meal prep, as a single breast makes enough for sandwiches, salads, etc. for the week.
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