How To Cook Turkey Breast

How To Cook Turkey Breast

3 to 7 pounds thawed, bone-in, skin-on turkey breast (1 half-breast or 1 whole turkey breast joined at the breast bone)
1 tablespoon butter or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Roasting pan, oven-proof skillet, or other baking dish large enough to hold the whole breast
Roasting rack, or thick-cut vegetables to lift the breast off the pan
Measuring spoons
Aluminum foil


1.Let the turkey breast warm: Transfer the turkey breast to the rack inside a roasting pan, or place on top of vegetables in a skillet or other baking dish. Let the breast warm on the counter while the oven heats.

2.Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.

3.Rub the turkey breast with butter and seasonings: Pat the skin of the turkey breast dry with a paper towel. Rub the turkey breast all over with butter. If desired, loosen the skin and rub some butter into the meat under the skin as well. Sprinkle the breast all over with salt and pepper (with some under the skin, if desired). Rub the seasonings into the skin. If you’re cooking a half-breast, pull the skin to cover the meat as much as possible.

4.Lower the oven to 350°F and roast the turkey for 1 hour: Place the turkey in the oven and immediately lower the heat to 350°F. Roast for 1 hour, then begin checking the temperature.

5.Check the turkey’s temperature: The turkey is done when it reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast meat. Start checking after 1 hour of roasting and continue checking every 10 to 15 minutes until the breast is cooked through.

6.Cover the turkey to prevent over-browning: If the skin over the breast meat begins to brown too darkly toward the end of cooking, cover it with aluminum foil to prevent scorching.

7.Rest the turkey: When cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and cover it loosely with foil. Rest the turkey for 15 to 20 minutes; this gives the juices time to redistribute and the turkey time to firm up. (Pour the drippings and juices from the pan into a measuring cup for making gravy!)

8.Carve the turkey: Carve the turkey beginning at the breast bone. Continue carving, keeping your knife as close to the ribs as possible, until the whole breast is carved from the bone; some meat will still be left on the bone. Once no longer attached to the bone, slice the breast crosswise into slices.

Recipe Notes
Turkey breasts can also be dry-brined, wet-brined, or seasoned with any mix of herbs or spices desired.

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