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Gravy being poured onto slices of roasted turkey breast on a white plate with an orange slice and herbs. A jar of gravy is in the background

Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy


  • Author: Leannda Cavalier
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 5-6 1x

Description

Buttery, tender turkey breast infused with rosemary, thyme and orange. A bright spin on your classic family turkey, just big enough for a single family and served up in under 90 minutes.


Scale

Ingredients

For the turkey breast

  • Split turkey breast (about 3 lbs, bone-in)
  • 4 Tablespoons softened, unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary, plus 2-4 sprigs
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs 
  • 1 small bulb garlic, sliced in half through the cloves
  • 1 shallot, halved
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 ½ cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)

For the gravy

  • Drippings from turkey
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch

Special equipment

  • Roasting pan with rack
  • Meat thermometer, preferably instant read

Instructions

To roast the turkey

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F and move the oven rack to the center (or low enough to fit your pan).
  2. Mash the butter, salt, pepper, and minced rosemary into a paste (a mortar and pestle works great, or you can smash it with the back of a spoon or knife).
  3. Place the turkey in the pan on a roasting rack, and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub it all over with the butter, including under the skin. Don’t layer it too thick on the skin, or it won’t brown.
  4. Lay half of the rosemary and thyme over the turkey, and half under it. Place the garlic bulb and the shallot in the pan as well.
  5. Squeeze one half of the orange over the turkey, then place the rind in the pan, setting the other half aside for later. Pour the wine over the turkey as well.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until it reaches 155-160º F on a meat thermometer.
  7. Cover with foil and allow it to rest at least 10 minutes, or until it reaches 165º F. 
  8. Slice the meat off the bone and slice the breast into serving portions. Garnish with orange slices. 

To make the gravy

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add the chicken stock and strained turkey drippings. Bring to a boil over medium heat, turn down to low and simmer for about five minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with two teaspoons of cold water until dissolved.
  3. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the liquid, turn down the heat, and whisk until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. 
  4. Serve immediately or keep warm until serving.

Notes

Tips: 
  • You can also make this with a small non-split turkey breast, just double the rest of the recipe and increase the cooking time as needed. If the skin gets too brown, cover it with foil. 
  • If you don’t have cornstarch you can use 1/4 cup flour instead and just whisk it straight into the strained liquid. 
  • If you want your turkey skin more brown, but it’s already reached 165º F, you can put it under the broiler (on low) for a couple of minutes. Keep the oven open and watch it closely. Secure the skin with toothpicks first so it doesn’t shrink too much, and remove the herbs.
  • Turkey reached temperature, but it’s pink inside? It’s likely still safe. Read this explainer: https://modernistcuisine.com/mc/why-is-the-turkey-still-pink/
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Herbed orange turkey breast, turkey breast, split turkey breast