I don’t know about you, but for me, roasting a turkey breast can be hit or miss. There are those rare occasions where it is the most moist and delicious experience and others, it is so dry that even a gallon of homemade gravy can’t disguise how dry it is. With Thanksgivukkah around the corner, I wanted start the festivities a bit early and brine a turkey breast. Simply, it is that time of year and the flavors and smells of your family’s favorite comfort foods are in the air.
Last night I combined the boiled liquid (once cooled) with the turkey breast in one of these (Smart and Final has all sizes) and placed it in the fridge. You can use your stockpot as the vessel, but I could not fit it in my fridge – it was too wide. I chose two sides, slow roasted tomatoes and braised string beans(I do a version of these). Why you ask? Well, along with cutting out most of the processed foods in our house, I am trying really hard to cut back on the carbs. My kids complain. Complain a lot! But as I am trying to make better choices for myself, regardless if they like these choices or not, I am hoping that they will be hungry enough to simply eat what’s put in front of them! Serve it with cranberry-raspberry relish, they really can’t refuse.
The best part of this meal is the possibility of leftovers.I don’t necessarily like leftovers, but I like creating with leftovers. Turkey pot pie and homemade pizza with these tomatoes, basil, and burrata are in our future!
Brined Turkey Breast
2 gallons cold water
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup organic, cane sugar
1 cup kosher salt
2 whole bay leaves
1/2 head of garlic, unpeeled
3-4 pound fresh turkey breast
• combine water, cider, both sugars, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, and garlic, in a large soup pot. whisk until everything dissolves. bring to a boil, and then turn off the heat and remove from the stove. allow to cool completely, before adding the turkey breast. place in the fridge overnight. refrigerate for about 24 hours.
• an hour before cooking, remove the container from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. rinse the turkey breast in very cold water and let drain on paper towels. toss the brine.
• pat the turkey breast dry and cook using one of your favorite methods. for me, I like to place in a roasting pan, on a bed of onions, and then brush turkey breast with 4 tablespoons of butter. sprinkle 1 tablespoon Celtic sea salt and 1 teaspoon fresh, ground pepper over turkey breast. pour 1 cup homemade chicken stock into the bottom of the pan and bake at 375* for about an hour (15 minutes/pound).
• the turkey is done when a knife inserted into the fattest part of the breast runs with clear juice. remove from the oven, cover with heavy duty foil, and let rest while you make your favorite gravy recipe (I use the pan juices and it’s yummy).
• slice and serve.
yield: generously serves 5 with plenty of leftovers.