Make the Best Turkey Breast by brining it the night before, basting it with white wine, butter, and herbs, and roasting it to perfection in the oven. This post was originally published in May 2012.
When I first wrote this blog post I had never cooked a turkey or a turkey breast before. For years I would go to my parents house for Thanksgiving and then after some time we started going to my brothers house. They always made the turkey so I had no reason too.
For year's I would get a free turkey from the market but then I would give it to my parents but I finally decided it was time to try and make one for myself. I mean, how hard could it be? I put it in the freezer and forgot about it for a while.
One week I decided I needed to cook all day and make freezer meals. The only problem was that the turkey breast was taking up a large chunk of freezer space. On a whim I put it into the refrigerator to make on the weekend.
I won't lie...I was scared to make the turkey. I did a lot of research and looked through a ton of recipes before finally combining two of the recipes to make the perfect turkey breast. I used the brine from one recipe and the basting and roasting from another. It made for a gorgeous golden brown turkey that was moist and delicious.
Do I have to brine the turkey and if so does it have to sit in the brine for 12 hours?
You don't have to brine it but you'll be so glad you did. Brining the turkey will keep the juices in so you will have an amazing turkey. Also, put it in the brine the night before and let it sit. You can leave it in for up to 18 hours so even if you aren't cooking the turkey until dinner time it will be fine.
Can I use this recipe with a regular sized turkey?
You can! Two major differences are that you will have to triple the brine recipe and double the basting recipe. Also, it can be hard to find something to brine a full turkey in. They sell brining bags or you can use one of the oven turkey bags and tie it up.
We don't drink alcohol. Can we substitute the wine?
One thing to think about is that the alcohol itself burns off in the oven because the temperature is above boiling. However, if you don't want the extra wine sitting around your house you can use chicken or turkey broth in place of it in this recipe.
How do I check the temperature on a turkey breast or turkey to make sure it is cooked?
Place a thermometer in the thick part of the breast and remove from the oven when it reaches 165 degrees. You can do this with a whole turkey or a turkey breast. On a whole turkey you can also place the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh and pull it out when it reaches 180 degrees.
I was thrilled with the turkey the turkey came out. I made homemade gravy to go with it and my husband and I both declared it was the best turkey we've had!
Since making this the first time I have made it over and over again every year.
Recipes for Side Dishes:
- Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing
- Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
- Homemade Green Bean Casserole
- Maple Roasted Brussels Sprout and Butternut Squash
If you’ve tried my Brined, Basted, and Roasted Turkey Breast or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:
For the brine:
- 8 c. water
- ½ c. sugar
- ¾ c. salt
For the turkey:
- 1 whole turkey breast (5-7 pounds)
- ½ c. butter
- ⅓ c. white wine
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
- In a bowl large enough to fit the turkey breast, combine the water, sugar, and salt. Stir well to combine. Place the turkey breast in the bowl and make sure it covers the turkey. If not add more water.
- Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours but no more than 18 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse in cold water. Place the turkey skin side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast uncovered for 1 hour.
- In a small bowl combine the butter, wine, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic. Brush the turkey with half the butter mixture and roast for 30 minutes.
- Brush with the remaining butter mixture and roast for at least another hour or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
- Remove the turkey from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.
- Meanwhile, pour the pan drippings into a measuring cup and skim off the fat. Add enough water to the measuring cup to make 2 cups. Pour the drippings into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix the cornstarch and cold water into the drippings and boil for an additional minute or until thickened.
A Hezzi-D Original recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 9894mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 3g