Thursday, November 27, 2008

Brined Herbed Turkey Breast

I decided to try to brine the turkey this year  I've never done it before and it's supposed to make the meat really tender and juicy.  It did!  It was delicious!  I only had 4 people for Thanksgiving so I just used a 6-lbs turkey breast and still have a ton leftover.  You could also do this with a larger whole turkey.  This recipe came from Emeril Lagasse off of but I altered it a bit. 

Brining solution:
1 gallon cold water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 orange quartered
1 lemon quartered
3 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary

Dissolve the salt and sugar in a nonreactive container such as a bucket or pot or brining bag (put the bag into big pot).  Add the orange, lemon and herbs.  Add your turkey breast (rinse thoroughly beforehand) and hope that it is submerged completely.  If not, use another  1/2 cup of salt and sugar per gallon of water.  Soak the turkey breast in the brine, covered (or seal up the bag) and refrigerated (or in a very cool place if it won't fit in the refrigerator) for 4-24 hours.  I let mine sit overnight.

Cooking procedure:

1 smallish orange (cut into 1/8ths)
1 smallish onion (cut into 1/8ths)
1 carrot (peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks)
1 Bay Leaf
1 big sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
3 sprigs of parsley (or some dry... maybe 1/4 tsp or so)
1/2 can of chicken or turkey stock (@ 3/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove the turkey breast from the brine, rinse thoroughly and pat dry.  Rub the breast side with an orange segment.  Rub butter all over and stuff some under the skin in several places.  Season with salt & pepper inside and out.  Place the turkey in an oven roasting bag in a appropriately sized baking pan for your turkey, breast side up and stuff the cavity with the orange, onion, carrot, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and parsley.  Add the stock to the bottom of the bag and seal up your bag.  Poke a few holes in the top for venting.  Cook for about 2-2 1/2 hours or until juices run clear (about 170 degrees with a thermometer).


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