This roasted turkey breast is super easy and tastes amazing with the orange and rosemary mixture roasted under the skin. Starting the turkey off at a higher temperature ensures that the skin is crisp and then lowering the temperature to keep the meat moist results in the perfect main course for your Thanksgiving.
Sometimes you just don’t want or need a whole turkey so roasting a turkey breast is the perfect option. A turkey breast is perfect for a small gathering or just for the two of you. You’ll have left-overs but who doesn’t want that? I know I love the left-overs! It seems I enjoy it more the next day anyway. Maybe because all of the frenzy of cooking a big meal is over and you can just relax!
The first thing you’ll do is mix together the butter, garlic, rosemary, orange zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Next you’ll carefully separate the skin from the turkey meat by sliding your hand in between the skin and breast and working your way up to the breast bone. It seems weird at first if you’ve never done it but hang in there…it’s easy! Once you’ve done that you will work half of the softened butter-herb mixture under one half of the turkey breast, repeating the process on the other side of the turkey breast.
Using your hands again, gently rub the turkey skin to evenly distribute butter over the entire breast. Basically you’re smoothing out all that butter and herb mixture so it’s evenly distributed under the skin.
Place the turkey in a V-rack sprayed with cooking spray and set it inside a large roasting pan. Pour one cup of water into the roasting pan.
Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue roasting turkey until the thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour longer. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¾ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 whole turkey breast (6 to 7 pounds), bone-in and skin-on, trimmed of excess fat and patted dry with paper towels
- 1 cup water
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix butter, garlic, rosemary, orange zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Carefully separate turkey skin from meat over breast; avoid breaking the skin.
- Work the butter mixture under skin on both sides of breast and rub skin of turkey to evenly distribute butter over breast. Spray V-rack with nonstick cooking spray and set inside large roasting pan. Place turkey in rack with skin side facing up; pour water into roasting pan.
- Roast turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue to roast turkey until the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour longer. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.
Armed with my camera, I’m ready to photograph food that I have labored over and placed in front of the window. I look through the lens and I see the light hitting it in just the most perfect way and it makes me so very happy. I feel grateful. I was surprised by this gift. This gift that I have for my love of cooking, and when I picked up the camera for the first time I never expected the love I feel about the things I cook to show through the lens, but it did and I am grateful.
I reflect a lot. Probably too much. I can get caught up in worrying about things or wishing that I had more and when that happens I start to feel down, but there is one thing that I have discovered that will turn that around EVERY time and that is to reflect on all of the things that I am grateful for. The small things. Sure, I can just do a big ole THANKS for the big picture but that just waters it down. It’s when I stop and reflect on the little things in my day that makes me feel so thankful that tears come to my eyes and spill over onto my cheeks. I see Tom, digging down into the bottom of our overcrowded pantry getting out my heavy stand mixer for me. He’s so neat about it too, and seeing him there doing something just for me, just a little thing, means everything to me. When I see him with our little chihuahua who is all decked out in her pink coat and pink leash, all wrapped up safe in his strong arms as he heads out the door to the vet. I am thankful he cares enough to look silly when his little pink dressed dog isn’t feeling her best.
I started a “Thankful Jar” to help me remember to be thankful and I fill it with little things like; crisp, clean cotton sheets on the bed. Bubble baths. Stumbling to the coffee pot to make coffee in the morning only to find out that Tom already made coffee for me the night before. The perfect leaf that I found on my walk with Missy that reminds me of the beauty of fall. Sipping hot chocolate, feeling all snuggly and warm while it snows outside. Spring flowers. Moss hanging from oak trees. The smell of fresh herbs. The smell of coffee brewing. Listening to birds sing. Seeing an elderly couple holding hands. Getting a text from my son that says, “I love you, Mom.” Hearing Tom whistling from the other room. It stops me in my tracks sometimes. I think about how grateful I am that today, I get to hear that. Him being him and me being here with him. What a blessing it all is.
God gives us gifts. I don’t want to miss them. I want to unwrap them and savor them, no matter how small. It gives me a joy that I can’t find anywhere else. I believe that a grateful heart IS the key to joy. Be thankful in everything…it makes a difference. Start a thankful jar. Fill it with at least 5 things you are thankful for a day and when you find yourself feeling sad or unsatisfied or down in any way just take them out and read them. Life IS all these little things and if we miss them, we miss the WHOLE of life.
Giving thanks for the little things can bring you joy every single day and feeling joyful can change your life.
I snap a picture of that perfect golden light hitting my humble plate of food and I give thanks.
If you still haven’t finished up your menu for Thanksgiving or you’re supposed to bring a side and you haven’t decided what to bring yet, this one is perfect! Sweet potatoes are classic Thanksgiving fare but this recipe adds earthy turnips to the mix which is unexpected but oh so good! The addition of Gruyère cheese and white wine elevate it to special occasion status but it’s easy enough to make anytime!
Take care to slice the sweet potatoes and turnips no more than 1/4 inch thick. I tried my mandoline but found the slices were way to thin so I used a sharp knife instead. Be sure to salt and pepper and add flour to each layer. Gently pour over the chicken broth and wine, cover with foil and bake. Add the cheese after the potatoes are tender and brown in the oven, it’s that simple! If you’re feeding more than six you may want to double this recipe and bake it in a 13 x 9 pan. You will definitely want to taste the potatoes to make sure they are tender before adding the cheese. I needed a full hour in the oven to get mine tender.
If you make this, let me know what you thought! Tom taste-tested this for me about a half hour ago…he’s now sleeping! He taste-tested A LOT of it so I think that means he liked it! 🙂
- 1 1/2 pounds turnips (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- Salt and ground pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In an 8-inch square baking dish, arrange a single layer of turnips and sweet potatoes, overlapping slightly.
- Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with one-third of the flour.
- Repeat to make three more layers, sprinkling with salt, pepper, and flour between layers.
- Dot top layer with butter, then slowly pour broth and wine into dish, keeping layers intact.
- Cover with foil and bake until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to an hour, taste to be sure the potatoes and turnips are tender before adding the cheese.
- Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
- Remove foil and sprinkle cheese over dish.
- Bake until cheese is golden and bubbling, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Let gratin sit 10 minutes before serving.