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.