Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
This is the perfect centerpiece of a smaller Thanksgiving or other holiday dinner. An aromatic paste of black peppercorns, garlic, fennel seeds, lemon zest, and rosemary gives turkey a flavor that challenges the notion that breast meat is bland and uninteresting. Note that you might need to special-order skin-on, bone-in breasts from your butcher.
For go-with Thanksgiving or holiday dishes that tweak the traditional, consider our Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberry Conserve, Apple Stuffing, and, for dessert, Pumpkin Pie Flans.
- 2 skin-on, bone-in turkey breast halves (weighing 6 to 7 pounds total)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 8 medium garlic cloves, halved
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 1 medium lemon, zested
1Pat the turkey breasts thoroughly dry with paper towels. Rub each breast all over (including under the skin) with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the salt. Place in a large dish, cover loosely, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
2Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, remaining 1 tablespoon of salt, the garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds, peppercorns, and lemon zest in a food processor and process until the mixture is a coarse paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once.
3Remove the turkey breasts from the refrigerator and rub all over (including under the skin) with the paste. Let sit at room temperature while the oven heats up, about 30 minutes.
4Arrange the turkey breasts skin side up in a roasting pan fitted with a rack, ensuring that the meat is not crowded and the breasts don’t touch. Roast until the skin starts to turn golden, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and roast until the internal temperature reaches 160°F and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork, about 40 to 50 minutes more. Let the turkey rest at least 10 minutes before carving.
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