For most people roast turkey means Thanksgiving dinner. But a juicy turkey breast flavored with a blend of herbs makes a delicious main entrée any time of year. Husband and I love not only a lovely dinner of tender, flavorful turkey but also all the great leftover options!
As we continue our unprecedented (who else is sick to death of that word?!) year we are looking at smaller holiday celebrations. If your Thanksgiving dinner consists of 2-6 people a turkey breast makes perfect sense.
6-9 pound turkey breast: If frozen, the turkey breast should be completely thawed before roasting. Pull out of the freezer several days ahead of time and place in a large bowl in the refrigerator. Once thawed remove from packaging and remove the gravy bag from the inner cavity. I also rinse the cavity of the turkey to thaw any remaining ice crystals.
Herbs: Fresh if possible but dry herbs are fine. Tarragon, rosemary and thyme are classic poultry herbs. I used dry tarragon and fresh rosemary and thyme. Add finely minced garlic.
Olive oil: For that delicious crisp browned skin.
We start by placing the turkey in a large roasted pan and spread with the mixture of herbs, garlic and olive oil. I use my hands; otherwise a basting brush would work.
Place the turkey in a 400 °F oven for 30 minutes to get a start on browning the skin. To continue the slow roasting process the oven temperature is then reduced to 325 °F.
I would definitely recommend a meat thermometer to assure not only that the turkey is fully cooked but also that the turkey is not overcooked and dry. The thermometer should read 165 °F. My current thermometer is Bluetooth with an iPhone app!
Once full cooked pull from the oven and allow the turkey breast to rest for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes it is time to slice the turkey. Full Disclosure: Hubby takes over at the point! 😉
The two halves of the breast are separated from the center bone into two halves making for easy slicing. I save the bone to make turkey noodle soup. Recipe coming soon!
Time to eat! We enjoyed the delicious turkey with roasted baby red potatoes and roasted asparagus.
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
- 1 (6-9 pound) turkey breast, skin on rinsed and patted dry
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 2 tsp thyme chopped
- 2 tsp rosemary chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400 °F.
- Remove the turkey breast from packaging and remove the gravy packet. Rinse well including the cavity and pat dry. Place turkey in a large roasting pan.
- Mix the oil, garlic, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Using your hands rub the mixture all over the turkey breast.
- Roast turkey for 30 minutes at 400 °F. Lower temp to 325 °F and roast for an additional 2 – 2 1/2 hours until meat thermometer registers 165 °F.
- Allow turkey to rest 15 minutes. Place on a cutting board and slice.