A basic brine makes this turkey breast more flavorful and adds moisture. The turkey is refrigerated in the brine overnight or up to 24 hours. The brine is a simple combination of ingredients you probably have on hand. All you need is a large container and some refrigerator space.
If you don't have room in the refrigerator, you can use a large cooler, but it is important to keep the bird at a temperature no higher than 40 F. Put the turkey in a large, sturdy storage bag or container and surround it with ice. The ice will also need to be replenished to keep the turkey at the safe temperature of 40 F.
A turkey breast is a good size for a basic family meal or a relatively small holiday dinner.
Orange Glazed Turkey Breast
- 1 turkey breast, bone-in, about 5 to 7 pounds
- 1 gallon ice cold water
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt (if you only have table salt, use 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3 bay leaves, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon allspice berries, crushed
- 1 tablespoon mixed or black peppercorns, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
- Vegetable oil, melted butter, or olive oil, for brushing on the turkey
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, or a seasoned salt blend
- onion and fruit (lemon, orange, apple) chunks for the cavity, optional
- fresh herbs for the cavity, optional
- Rinse the turkey breast under cold water.
- Place the turkey breast in a large cooking bag; place the bag with the turkey in a large roasting pan or another large container (just in case the bag leaks).
- Add the brine ingredients to the bag and then close the bag and twist until brine is covering turkey. Use a twist-tie to secure the bag. Alternately, you can use a large, nonreactive covered container. Just make sure the turkey is completely covered with brine (you might have to increase the amount of brine for a container). Place the turkey breast in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- Heat oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6).
- Remove turkey from brine and rinse it thoroughly with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey breast on a rack, breast side up, in a large roasting pan. Discard brine. Rub the turkey with vegetable oil, butter, or extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper or a seasoned salt blend.
- If desired, fill the cavity of the turkey breast with chunks of onion, fruit, and fresh herbs.
- Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, not touching bone.
- Roast at 400 F (200 C/Gas 6) for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 F (165 C/Gas 3) and continue roasting until the turkey breast registers at least 165 F (74 C), about 2 to 3 hours.
Serves 8 to 10.
Instead of a rack, place the turkey breast on a bed of sliced onions and carrot and celery sticks.