Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Braised Turkey Breast

A bone-in turkey breast, oven-braised in chicken stock with aromatics, in a covered pot and pictured here with a baked sweet potato and my Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.

Braised Turkey Breast

It's rare that I will cook a turkey or chicken without brining it first. Although I use an in oven thermometer {affil link} these days, there has been many a time that I thought I had that timing down perfect, only to result in an overcooked, tasteless and dry bird. It's not hard to do given how poultry is bred today. Those thermometers are a godsend, especially with roasting any meat.

A brine gives a little extra insurance against that, whether you're using a thermometer or not, as well as infusing some salty goodness into the meat. That said, since this turkey breast was going to be cooked with a braising method, I decided to give it a try without either. The braising process does wonders to meat and I was delighted with the result!

This recipe can be prepared in any kind of covered vessel - a Dutch oven, in-oven roaster or electric roaster all work equally well, and even a slow cooker will work. I used the oven function on my Ninja Cooking System 4-in-1 {affil links}. It's one of those countertop appliances that is a little large to keep out and ended up on a shelf in the walk-in pantry that I don't think about so much, but I'm trying to resolve that. I waited a long time to get one so I'm going to try and use it a bit more!

The key, in this instance, is using a vessel that will fit the turkey breast you purchase, or more appropriately, selecting a turkey breast that will fit the vessel you have! You may need to break or remove some of the bones to make it fit.

Since this is a braise, browning the turkey breast is not to add color, as that will get lost in the cooking process, but is solely to create a fond - those lovely browned bits that develop in the bottom of the pot and add tons of flavor to a dish. You can opt for using chicken stock or broth, water with a chicken base, or simply plain water, the least expensive option. I often use water, especially with a slower cooking dish relying on enhancements from added aromatics, such as here, and often from seasoning meats. With shorter cooking dishes and braises like this, however, chicken stock or broth adds a little to the overall cost, but it's also another level of flavor.

While this braising method doesn't make for a picture-perfect final presentation like oven roasting does, this turkey will turn out so tender, juicy and flavorful, that I think you'll be very pleased with the final outcome anyway. Although the veggies can be eaten, they've pretty much done their job, so plan on other sides to serve with your turkey. In the picture above, I had baked sweet potatoes with my Super Creamy Macaroni and Cheese.


For more of my favorite turkey recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!



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Recipe: Braised Turkey Breast

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour 15 min
Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 4 to 6 pound bone-in turkey breast, thawed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 large ribs celery, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 large lemon, sliced
  • 1 sprig thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 sprig rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth (or plain water)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Press down to crack or remove breast and rib bones on turkey breast, if necessary to fit pot. Heat oil, season turkey on all sides with salt and pepper, brown in oil; remove and set aside. Add a splash of the stock or water, scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot, then add remaining stock, vegetables and herbs. Put breast on top of vegetables or on a rack over the vegetables if there is room. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degree F in the thickest part of the breast, about 1 hour, depending on size of breast.

Carefully remove the turkey breast and set aside, tenting loosely with foil to keep warm. Strain pan juices, remove and discard solids, and return juices to the pot. Bring to a boil, blend together cornstarch and water and slowly stir in cornstarch slurry. Boil for 2 minutes or until thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Cook's Notes: I used my Ninja Cooking System cooker {affil link}, set to oven at 375 degrees F.

For the Slow Cooker: Prepare as above, except reduce chicken stock to 1-1/2 cups. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, depending on size of breast, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. If you wish to brown the turkey breast, carefully remove and transfer to a rimmed, aluminum foil covered baking sheet. Preheat broiler and place turkey under the broiler until golden brown, watching carefully.

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Posted by on January 15, 2020

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