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Turkey breast basted with butter and herbs is wonderful for your Easter table.
An Everyday Treat Fit For A Holiday
Turkey breast is on sale a lot lately–at least in my neck of the woods. Recently, I got a two-for-one sale that was a great deal because the price per pound was awesome.
I love turkey and eat it often so this was a boon for me. This time I wanted to try something a little bit different that just plain old roasting. Well, this is plain-old-roasted but with a little kick.
Julia Child did something like this on one of her old shows but with bone-in skin-on chicken breasts with the wings attached. I recently remembered that and decided to try it with this turkey breast.
This is so good and juicy. It has a wonderful flavor too so this is something that’s “every-day” but really good enough to be the star of your Easter or Thanksgiving meal.
The secret to this turkey’s flavor is a simple herb or “compound” butter.
I used a combination of fresh thyme and sage in this butter along with a must-have of mine: garlic. If you’re not that into garlic, then it can be totally eliminated.
As for the herbs I used, I prefer more thyme than sage–which I find a bit medicinal if there’s too much of it. However, these are the most traditional herbs to use with poultry so they work very well. Another good one to use is rosemary. It imparts a fine flavor to chicken and turkey, even though I think most people associate it with lamb. You can use any fresh herbs you like and if you use different herbs each time you make it, it’s always a different dish!
Naturally, you must start with room-temperature butter so it will be easy to mix and to spread. I highly recommend using unsalted butter–in any cooking. That way, you control the amount of salt and left out entirely, this turkey breast is perfect for anyone eating a low-sodium diet.
Lift The Skin But Don’t Remove
The flavored butter goes between the skin and the breast flesh.
Just gently run your fingers between the skin and the flesh to separate it from the membrane. Then you rub the butter on the flesh and pull the skin back over to cover it up. I did save back a little butter to initially baste the turkey breast after about 40 minutes in the oven. After that, there should be enough rendered butter and fat in the roasting pan to baste throughout the cook time.
Butter Herb Turkey Breast
- 6 lbs bone-in turkey breast
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 tbs finely chopped fresh thyme OR fresh sage, OR fresh rosemary
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a rack in a large roasting pan.
- In a small bowl, mix the softened butter, garlic, pepper, salt and the herb you chose to use.
- Gently separate the skin on the turkey breast from the meat, but do not remove the skin.
- Rub half of the butter mixture over the breast meat. Gently pull skin back into place. Rub the remaining butter mixture over the top of the skin.
- Roast for 2- 2 1/2 hours or until internal temperature is 165 degrees F. Baste periodically with pan drippings.