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Roasting a turkey breast without drying it out?

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I'm craving roast turkey, but don't want to do a whole bird. How do you cook just the breast (skin on, bone in) without it getting dried out?

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  1. I know it's old fashioned, but a Reynolds roasting bag does the trick. Just get the bid turkey size, the extra folds in the bag won't matter.

    I slide fresh sage leaves under the skin for gorgeous presentation and great flavor.

    Thank you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bride of the Juggler

      I should have mentioned I always use a Kosher turkey, which goes through a salting process similar to brining. Thank you.

      1. re: Bride of the Juggler

        Oh- It's the best way. That's how I always make my Thanksgiving turkey. A winner hands down! Cook with garlic cloves, fresh herbs, apple slices and veges. YUM!

      2. Brine! 1/4 cup kosher salt (or 36 grams of any salt) per quart of water, plus any herbs and spices you fancy. I also add about a teaspoon of sugar to aid browning, and a few slices of lemon, but it is not really neccessary. Soak the meat at least 6 hours. Preheat your oven to 375-400, and drain the breast and dry well with paper towels. Smear the skin with butter, and roast until juices run clear. The guidelines say 180 degrees, but I always stop at 155 degrees. It will go up another 5-7 degrees when resting. Nobody's died yet, and the meat is juicy and tender.

        1. Start with a fresh turkey breast. Frozen will be drier regardless how one roast it. I also brine it: 1 1/2 c kosher salt (1 cup table), 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar and enough water to cover the turkey breast. Brine for about 5-6 hours.
          Take out, rinse and dry. Brush with melted butter. Place breast on a roasting rack.
          Preheat oven to 450 degree. In a large roasting pan, add about 1/4 inch of chicken stock (if you are making gravy) or water, 1 small onion, 1 carrot, 1 rib of celery...all cut up. Place the breast in the roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes, turning the pan once.
          Turn down oven to 325 and roast an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Add a little more stock or water if necessary. I roast to 160 degree internal temperature.
          Let it rest for about 20 minutes. Slice it against the grain is important.

          1. Good advice from phofiend and PBSF. The only thing I'll add is, if you have the time, allow the breast to thoroughly air-dry in the fridge after you brine it. And yes, 155 to 160 internal temp is the way to go.

            -Nick

            1. I echo the posts by phofiend and PBSF. Brining and roasting to an internal temperature of 150 work for me. Meat comes out juicy with browned skin.

              1. In addition to brining, I've found that cooking with the breast down/bone up helps retain moisture.

                1. An instant read thermometer is your friend-get the kind that can be calibrated.Should read 32 in an ice water slurry or 212 in boiling water.
                  Brineing does add flavor and moisture but is not necessary...take it out at 155 and let it rest a while.

                  1. i pull ~ 150 tops-depending on size. as said a thermometer is your friend.

                    1. Here's how my Mom has done it for years - Cover the bird with Lawry's seasoning and garlic salt. Put the bird breast side down on a v shaped roasting rack. Then she cuts out one of the large sides of a brown paper grocery bag to make a 3 sided tent. She coates the remaining large side (the top of the tent) in canola oil, and cooks the bird under the tent. The result is the juciest, tastiest and crispiest bird ever!