Serving guests with an oven roasted turkey breast can work well; we often have dinner guests who at the last minute proclaim that they are on a diet and would like to avoid eating anything heavy. The white breast meat contains few calories; it is low in fat and high in protein. Guests or family members who would prefer to eat a light meal can enjoy thick slices of moist breast meat served with salad or vegetables.
Those who are happy to indulge in the good things of life can enjoy the thickly sliced breast meat with rich gravy poured over the top of it. Whichever way you are equipped to please everyone and your dinner can still be a fine dining experience. Oven roasted turkey breast can taste dry and woody if it is not cooked in the right way; we want the meat to be moist, flavoursome and a joy to eat.
As a rule of thumb a three pound turkey breast will serve four adults, if your family or guests are hearty eaters then you may need to buy a little bigger breast. It is possible to buy frozen turkey breasts and they are cheaper than the fresh ones but an oven roasted turkey breast should be cooked and enjoyed, hence it is better to push the boat out and buy a fresh breast. Plain breast meat can be rather bland if it is just cooked and served, yet infuse it with herbs and garlic and the turkey breast takes on a new meaning.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PERFECT OVEN ROASTED TURKEY BREAST:
One turkey breast, three pounds in weight if you are cooking for four
Three to four cloves of garlic
One medium Spanish onion
One half a cup of dry white wine
114 grams of fresh salted butter
One dessertspoon of dried Thyme leaves
One half a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
Two dessert spoons of plain flour
Chicken stock for the gravy
A teaspoon of sugar
PREPARATION FOR THE OVEN ROASTED TURKEY BREAST:
Peel the cloves of garlic and chop the cloves into fine pieces
Peel the Spanish onion and slice it very finely. If you have a mandolin then use it to slice the onion
Wash the turkey breast under the cold water
METHOD FOR COOKING THE OVEN ROASTED TURKEY BREAST:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Take a large but shallow roasting tin and place the turkey breast in the middle of the pan.
The breast should be skin side up.
Take a pastry brush and dip it into some oil, brush the skin of the turkey breast with oil.
Place the roasting tin in the hot oven and let the breast roast for just over three quarters of an hour
Keep checking the meat as it cooks and turn it around in the tin
Place the white wine in a bowl; add the garlic, cayenne pepper, a half of the salted butter and the crumbled Thyme leaves to the bowl.
Mix the ingredients together
Take the remainder of the butter and place it into a heavy bottomed frying pan or skillet
Heat the butter until it is sizzling then add the finely sliced Spanish onions to the pan
Sprinkle the teaspoon of sugar over the top of the sliced onions and let them cook over a medium heat until they become soft and golden.
When the Spanish onions are cooked and golden they need to be spread over the top of the turkey breast to add flavour
Remove the roasting tin from the hot oven and spread the onions over the breast
Place the tin in the oven and cook for a further ten minutes
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and brush the breast with the mixture of white wine, garlic, butter, thyme and Cayenne pepper
Leave the turkey breast uncovered and put it back into the oven to roast for a further sixty minutes
The oven roasted turkey breast will need to be checked regularly as it cooks
The combination of the caramelised onions, the herbs, butter, garlic, white wine, Thyme and Cayenne pepper will give the breast a tasty coating that will also infuse the white breast meat, making it moist and tasty.
It is very important to make sure that the turkey breast is cooked right through to the centre and this can be done by using a meat thermometer. The meat thermometer needs to slide into the very thickest part of the cooking breast and it needs to register one hundred and sixty five degrees to assure you that the meat is cooked through.
If the oven roasted turkey breast is fully cooked then take it out of the heat and place it on a meat plate to rest. The turkey breast needs to relax for around ten minutes to make it far easier to carve.
METHOD FOR MAKING THE GRAVY TO GO WITH THE OVEN ROASTED TURKEY BREAST:
The roasting tin will be full of flavoursome fat and juices so pour these meat juices into a small pan. Add two cups of chicken stock (or turkey stock) to the pan and mix together well. Allow the liquids to cool. Put the plain flour into a cup and add enough water to make a paste. Slowly add the paste to the cooled meat juices and continue to stir. The meaty juices will begin to thicken as the paste starts to cook. Keep stirring until the gravy is cooked through. Salt if necessary.
SERVING THE OVEN READY TURKEY BREAST:
Take a carving knife and slice the turkey breast. Place the thick slices of meat onto the plate and ladle the thick tasty gravy over the top of them.
This is a delicious recipe and it does full justice to the humble turkey breast. Breast meat cooked without herbs and spices can be bland and unappetising. The meat is good when served with fresh vegetables and baby new potatoes. This is the crème de la crème recipe for an oven roasted turkey breast.