In the Rivera family, roasted turkey breast was one of those special occasion dishes. Mainly we had a whole turkey during the Thanksgiving holiday. Turkey breast was that optional treat instead of the Sunday beef or pork roast. We liked it because our family rendition came out moist and juicy; and the whole thing could be done in about an hour or so depending on the size. Figure it this way: a small turkey breast weighing 3 to 4 pounds requires, on average, 1 to 1 1/2 hours cooking time. A larger breast weighing 6 to 7 pounds cooks in 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. In all cases, after roasting, always allow the breast to sit 15 to 20 minutes so that the juices have time to be absorbed throughout the meat. So, surprise the family or your significant other for that special dinner. You’ll get deserved applause.
ROASTED BONELESS TURKEY BREAST
1 4-5 pound turkey breast, skin on
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup red wine or brandy
2-3 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1. Rinse the turkey breast under cold running water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Place the turkey breast on a plate and spear all over with a fork. Drizzle with the olive oil and rub thoroughly with the salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Pat the seasonings well into the skin. Place the breast in a plastic zip-lock bag; and skirt with the juice from the lemon. Shake the bag until the breast is thoroughly coated with the marinade.
3. Place the turkey breast in the refrigerator and let it marinate overnight.
4. Next day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the breast on a roasting pan (I prefer cast-iron). Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, and remove the breast from the oven when the temperature reaches 155 degrees. Cover the breast with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. During this time the internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise approximately 5 to 6 degrees higher. Increasing the temperature over 170 degrees will probably result in a dry and tough turkey breast—and you don’t want that.
6. While the turkey breast is resting, you can make the gravy: put the roasting pan over one of the range burners on medium heat. Sprinkle the flour into the pan juices, stirring for a few minutes. Add the red wine or brandy, and scrape the pan to lift bits that are stuck to the bottom. Cook for a minute or so to burn off the alcohol content. Pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer, add the butter and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Slice the turkey breast on the diagonal and serve with the gravy.
Yield: 6-8 servings.