Guest Author - Sandie Jarrett
In our family, we seem to eat up the turkey breast and the rest of the bird goes into soups and stews. By the end of Thanksgiving weekend, I never want to see turkey again. A few years ago, I decide to roast just the breast. Depending upon how many guests we have, I roast either 1 or 2 turkey breasts. Everyone is happy, since they can have their fill of the tender, moist white meat and I’m happy to have a manageable amount of leftovers. Add a finishing touch to your holiday turkey with my easy roux based gravy made with pan drippings. It only takes a few minutes to prepare, but is really worth it. The recipe is included following the recipe for the turkey.
Cajun Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe
Serves 6 - 8
4 pound fresh turkey breast
8 sprigs of Rosemary
8 sprigs of thyme
Black pepper, to taste
Cajun seasoning (or other seasoning blend), to taste
Sea Salt, to taste (if using salt-free seasoning blend)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the turkey breast in a roasting pan, skin side up. Loosen the skin and place 4 sprigs each of the Rosemary and thyme under the skin. Place the other springs under the turkey breast. Drizzle with olive oil, rubbing into the skin to cover. Season the turkey on all sides, to taste, with pepper and salt and / or seasoning blend.
Cook the turkey for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes or to an internal temperature of 150°F. Remove the cooked turkey to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before carving. Carve against the grain and serve hot.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
1/4 cup drippings
1/4 cup flour
1 quart chicken or turkey broth
Pour off drippings into a fat separator. Remove any herbs or vegetables used as roasting seasoning from the roasting pan. Add 1/4 cup turkey fat back into the pan and 1/4 cup flour. Using a wire whisk (a flat whisk works great for this), scrape up the cooked-on bits from the bottom of the roasting pan as you blend the flour and fat together. Keep whisking as the mixture cooks for several minutes.
Whisk in about a cup of broth at a time and then allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, basic chicken/poultry seasoning, or a dash of Cajun seasoning to taste.
For a classic gravy, season with fresh minced parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Serve hot.
Roasting just the breast doesn’t produce a lot of liquid for making gravy so have plenty of good quality, low sodium chicken stock on hand. You can add olive oil or butter to your roux is you need additional fat.
For a traditional holiday dinner, prepare stuffing, fluffy mashed potatoes, and whatever else you and your family enjoy.
For a great ‘anytime’ meal, serve with my Creole Potato Salad, Louisiana Style Fresh Green Beans, and fresh rolls and butter.