How to Cook a Turkey Breast
Cooking an entire turkey can take an entire day and significant effort. If you’re planning a big meal and want the turkey to be center stage, you don’t have to cook an entire turkey. A whole turkey breast can actually provide more than enough meat for a party of 4 and enough pan drippings to make succulent gravy.
Turkey breasts are much easier to roast because there’s no basting, no flipping, and no hours of fuss. To start, ensure your turkey breast is fully thawed if it is being stored in a freezer. A turkey breast should defrost in 24 hours when defrosted in the refrigerator. Once it’s thawed, it can safely stay in your fridge for a few days if you aren’t quite ready to roast it yet.
To get an even juicier turkey, brine it a day in advance like you would a whole turkey. You can dry brine it (salting and letting the meat rest) or wet brine it (soaking the meat in salt water).
Roasting Turkey Breast
Place the turkey breast on a roasting rack in the middle of a roasting pan or use an oven-safe skillet or baking dish. You can also use a roasting pan and place the breast on top of thick slices of onions, potatoes, and peppers to create an instant, delicious side dish.
Cook the turkey at a higher temperature at first to allow it to brown, 230C or 210C fan. Once it starts to brown, turn the oven down to a 175C or 160C fan. This will allow the breast meat to cook without losing too much moisture.
After an hour, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the thickest part of the meat. You can baste the turkey if you want, but cooking it this way does not require you to. Once the thickest part of the breast reaches 75C.
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