Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Turkey Breast

David is by far the healthiest eater in our family.  Despite all the salads and turkey sandwiches, he wasn’t losing weight so he went to a nutritionist.  After mumbling about “waste of my time” and “tell me something new”, he started to implement her strategy of portion control, decreasing the amount of salad dressing he used and becoming more aware of food’s sodium levels and started to see results. 

I, however, am not willing to give up my occasional Oreo cookie so my doctor suggested that I track my caloric intake with an online tool like MyFitnessPal.  It was such an eye opener.  The tool made me aware of just how much food I was consuming and educated me on how the calories can quickly add up (and how if I exercised, I had more calories to spare!)  So I will treat myself to an Oreo here and there, but maybe not 6 at a time – the tool is counting!

During David’s quest for healthier eating, we started cooking this turkey breast.  With a half turkey breast (about 4-5 lbs), there is plenty for dinner and then for a few sandwiches during the week. 

Turkey Breast
Here is a link to Barefoot Contessa’s original recipe.  Below is a modified version using ingredients that most of us probably already have in our pantry.

  1. 1 bone-in turkey breast (see above – we cook a half breast, about 4-5 lbs)
  2. 1 T minced garlic (3 cloves)
  3. 2 t dry mustard
  4. ½ T rosemary (or 1 T chopped fresh)
  5. ½ T sage (or 1 T chopped fresh)
  6. ½ t thyme (or 1 t chopped fresh)
  7. 2 t kosher salt
  8. 1 t freshly ground black pepper
  9. 2 T olive oil
  10. 2 T lemon juice (mine comes from a bottle)
  11. 1 C dry white wine (if you don’t want to open a bottle just for this, try a cooking wine like Holland House.  If you don’t have wine, use chicken broth instead.  The liquid just helps keep the turkey from drying out and provides a nice juice when serving.)
Preheat the oven to 325.  Place the turkey breast in a pan, skin side up.

Combine items #2-10 to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers.  Pour half of the paste directly on the meat and the rest evenly on the skin. Pour the wine onto the bottom of the pan.

Roast the turkey for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown.  The time always varies for me (aka, it’s usually longer) and I definitely use my instant-read thermometer (like a Maverick Redi Fork Pro) to make sure the turkey reaches 165 degrees (test the thickest and meatiest parts of the breast). If the turkey is starting to get brown and crispy on top, place some aluminum foil loosely over the breast and keep cooking.  When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve.  Pour the pan juices into a measuring cup with a fat separator (Oxo makes a 2 cup and 4 cup).  This will help you pour just the juice, not the fat, over the sliced turkey. 

Happy Birthday G, J and E!

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