26 November 2009

Turkey Breast ~ Brined and Roasted

This year it was the three of us. We decided not to make the drive to San Antonio to be with family due to some health issues.

I bought what I thought was a 6lb Turkey Breast. That's what the label said anyway. Upon thawing, I found it was a 6lb Turkey "body". The entire upper part...the bird minus the legs. LOL Funniest thing I ever saw. Apparently, this is a typical "Turkey Breast". I was expecting the big boneless, skinless thing they have in the deli that they slice the meat off for you.

I decided to brine it this year after hearing a friend talk about brining her turkey and talking about how good they always are.

: (half of recipe from Alton Brown)

  • 1/2 gallon vegetable broth
  • 1/2 gallon heavily iced water
  • 1/2 cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1/4 tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1/4 tablespoon candied ginger
Put all in a pot, except the ice water, and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool then refrigerate. You can do this a couple days ahead and just keep covered in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

The night before you roast your turkey breast you will need:

  • 1 - large stock pot or food grade plastic bucket (get one from a donut shop)
  • 1 - 5-7lb Turkey breast ~ bone in
  • 1/2 - gallon ice water


Rinse turkey under cold water.

Place turkey breast in your stock pot or bucket. Add the brine ingredients and the ice water. Place in a cool spot overnight, for 8 - 12 hours. I put mine in the bucket, put the lid on it and put it out in the garage. (The temps were going to be down in the low 40's) You don't have to worry about bacteria etc., the ice water and the salt will keep them away. (according to Alton Brown anyway and we all know he knows what he's talking about)

3 hours or so before you eat:

Heat oven to 400°.

Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Place on a rack, breast side up, in a large roasting pan.

Discard brine.

Rub the turkey with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt though, remember all that salt in the brine.

Roast at 400° for 20 minutes.

Reduce heat to 325° and continue roasting about 2 to 3 hours. (I roasted mine for 2 hrs and it was perfect)

It was gorgeous, brown, the most moist turkey we have ever had....I forgot to take a picture of it when it came out of the oven. So here is what is left...hahaha

(It's actually on it's side. It wouldn't sit up on the back)

I served this with my home canned Cranberry Sauce along with the usual Thanksgiving sides.

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