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turkey breast - what's a dark meat lover to do?

My husband and I are strictly dark meat, on-the-bone, flavor and fat-loving people and we find ourselves with a (dreaded) boneless turkey breast in our fridge. Does anyone have any ingenious ways to turn this dry, tasteless hunk of blandness into something edible? Possibly even delicious?

Thanks in advance!


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  1. If you want to roast it, brine it first, roast to 150-160 degrees and no higher. It won't be horribly dry.

    You can also slice it thinly (freezing helps to get nice thin slices), and cook like veal scallopini. Lightly breaded and sauteed, with a sauce, it is surprisingly good.

    1. Can't think of the name of the dish, but it's usually veal (turkey is often subbed) covered w/a tuna sauce. That should take care of the dry and tasteless problem. What is the name!?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sarah

        Vitello tonnato. And turkey breast does make a pretty good substitute. Has to be made 24-48 hours ahead and is served cold, of course.

        The OP could also open the skinless breast flat, stuff it with a savoury dressing (pork- or sausage-based with or without seasonal fruit), tie it up, brown it and either roast or pot-roast it. Slice and serve with a sauce made from pan drippings.

        1. re: carswell

          Thanks for the name -- I would have gone crazy all night on the internet searching!

      2. Oh, plan on making some Hot Browns. Open faced sandwiches first created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. Turkey, bacon,& mornay sauce. Sometimes a slice of tomato and sometimes some country ham added. Google for it. There are a number of recipes out there and it is a wonderful thing.

        1. Brine it then cook/roast over indirect heat of a mesquite fire. That will give it some character.

          1. One turkey breast might not be enough, but try supplementing it with a little other dark meat in Tetrazzini (the absolute best Italian-American pasta dish). Cook from scratch ingredients. Use quality parmesan cheese, not the stuff mixed with cellulose powder.

            Another option would be to simmer the breast in poultry stock until done, then serve with wild rice and Jeff Smith's Hungarian Paprika Gravy.

            Can't recommend any specific recipe, but there must be Some tasty concoction out there that involves wrapping BACON around the breast before baking.

            3 Replies
            1. re: DiveFan

              I used to do that with wild pheasant--butter the breasts and drape them with bacon, then roast.

              1. re: DiveFan

                This is a big favorite of mine (but the mole is a big part of it, and it's something of a project)


                1. re: DiveFan

                  OMG! Tetrazzini brings back memories of high school cafeteria food! That, done right with good ingredients and it could be excellent....and like doing mushrooms with the flashbacks.

                  That said, that bacon wrapped recipe, wherever/whatever it is, sounds great.

                  What about stuffing it with thick pesto, grilling it, and finishing it in the oven?

                2. My mom makes a great dish with turkey breast....butterfly and pound it out. you can cut it into two pieces for easy wrapping with prociutto later. Cover one side with fresh sage leaves or dried sage. Wrap in bacon or prociuto pan fry and finish in the oven. Reduce some red wine for sauce.

                  It is delish!


                  1. Turkey breast is never dry and tasteless unless it isn't prepared properly. Brine it, brine it, brine it! I have brined my turkeys and chickens for several years and will never go back. It imparts a level of moistness that you cannot achieve without it. Brine it, dry it off and chill it in the fridge overnight, maybe with an herb rub. Roast it slowly and only to 150 degrees, then remove from the oven and tent it with foil for about 10-15 minutes so the juices can redistribute. Don't skip this part or you will watch your juiciness drain away with the first slice. Slice it with the grain for best results.

                    1. Pound it flattish.

                      Season with s&p, and smear with a good coarse mustard.

                      Spread on a filling made with sausage, bread cubes, onion, garlic, roasted red bells and raisins.

                      Roll and tie, drizzle with OO, roast at 275 till to internal temp is 165.

                      1. brining is great .. does it still have skin ? if so then i would start out high to make sure the skin gets crispy .. the sugar in the brine helps this too ..

                        there is a great alice waters brine recipe on line ..i've been using & now adapting it for years with turkey, chicken, pork ..

                        1. The way I handle white meat is to not have any. I just buy turkey thighs - one per person gives plenty of leftovers. I cram the stuffing between the skin and the meat; as much as I can get in while still being able to pin down the separated edge to hold it in.

                          All dark meat - heaven!

                          I used to have to start buying the turkey thighs well before I planned to serve them, but in the past 10 or so years, the supermarkets (around here at least) regularly stock turkey thighs.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Barbara Morris

                            wow, you're finding turkey thighs around? I've seen breasts (yuck) and drum sticks -- I'll have to look more closely. All dark meat from thighs would be so awesome!

                          2. Sauce it up. Vitello tonnato, as already mentioned, is great with turkey, I agree. Or make turkey and dumplings (like chicken and dumplings) or turkey pot pie.

                            1. I don't know where you live but with winter setting in here in TO I say freeze the thing and use it for a hockey puck...there are many similarities...dry, tasteless, not very enjoyable.

                              If you insist on eating it...do up some spicy chipotle burritos/quesedillas. I have done these with dark meat having treated the white portions similar to my suggestion above!


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: j2brady

                                The hockey puck idea is a good one.

                                Burritos actually sound good, idea stored.

                                With all the talk about temperatures on here, I am reminded of the time I saw turkey sashimi served on a JAPANESE episode of IRON CHEF.

                                Whatever ya do, do NOT overcook. =)