A Southern Grace: any day can be turkey day

January 6, 2016

any day can be turkey day


Who says roasted turkey has to be limited to Thanksgiving? Seems pretty ridiculous to me...

These images brought to you by Darkness Falls Too Early.

...plus, I got a roasting panfor Christmas and really wanted to put it to use.

There are as many recipes and techniques on the internets for roasting turkey as there are TV commercials and magazine ads for chronic plaque psoriasis medication, but I weeded through the dross and found what I thought made the most sense and had the most potential to result in a juicy-fleshed, crispy-skinned turkey breast.

First of all, you have to apply some fat to the bird, and said bird MUST be dry. You can use olive oil if that's your preference, but I love me some butter for applications like this. Making a paste of the butter and your seasonings makes the skin more evenly greased up and flavored, and patting the bird dry before you attempt to slather the paste onto the skin makes it adhere better and more easily.

Secondly, by cranking up the temperature in the oven initially, the skin will begin to get crisp even as the temperature lowers so the inner meat can cook properly.

I added chicken broth to the veggies in the bottom of the pan to give them a boost in their cooking process. I've found that dry roasting hard veggies like celery and carrots takes forever and a day, especially in my oven, so adding some liquid speeds things along.

The turkey is done when it reaches 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the breast meat, but since the temperature will continue to climb even after the turkey is out of the oven, I like to pull mine out at 155 degrees F. It's important to rest the turkey for at least 15 minutes before slicing, as this gives the juices time to redistribute and the turkey time to firm up. When all is said and done, you'll have some very moist turkey breast meat and some very crispy, very flavorful skin on which to munch.

Since (according to my fiance) you apparently can't and shouldn't have a roasted turkey without dressing and cranberry sauce, I complied. It was a tasty and impressive spread, if I do say so myself.

♪ Turkey Roasted in Shoddy Oven ♫ (♫...Marleau nipping at your heels...♪)
(printable recipe)
Serves 8-10
  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 to 7 pounds
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
Transfer the turkey breast to the rack inside a roasting pan, or place on top of the chopped vegetables in another baking dish. Pour the broth into the bottom of the pan and let the breast warm on the counter while the oven heats.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
In a small bowl, combine the mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, soft butter, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Pat the skin of the turkey breast dry with a paper towel and spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin.
Place the turkey in the oven and immediately lower the heat to 350 degrees F. Roast for 2 hours, then begin checking the temperature.
When the innermost part of the breast reaches 155 degrees F, remove the pan from the oven.
When cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and cover it loosely with foil. Rest the turkey for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Indeed! that turkey looks even so moist and appetising.



Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

That's a beautiful lookin' bird!
Glad to hear I am not alone in enjoying turkey when I feel like, not just for the big day!

Kate @ Framed Cooks said...

I am SO with you on the whole Turkey All Year Round thing! And isn't getting a new roasting pan the best? Thanks for the turkey reminder, and the recipe!

Angie's Recipes said...

How true! The turkey looks so juicy!

Pam said...

I got a new roasting pan right before Thanksgiving and couldn't wait to cook a turkey it it. I think you're right, it's silly that we only cook turkey once a year! Your turkey looks tender, juicy, and delicious.

Food Gal said...

I'm one of those rare birds (pun intended) who actually like turkey. I whole-heartedly support the idea of enjoying it more than once a year, too. Have fun with your new roasting pan. The new year is always the perfect time to break in new "toys'' like that.

Kathy Walker said...

You are right! Any day is a good day for turkey. I totally agree that one cannot have turkey without dressing and cranberry sauce...it just wouldn't be right. Looks delicious!

Beth said...

I've been known to roast a turkey any of the year. Why not, especially with as yummy as recipe as you've used!

Kate said...

What a perfect looking bird! I love turkey and totally agree it shouldn't be a once a year sort of thing. Yum!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

I have often made a turkey after Christmas to get a nice dinner plus leftovers for school break (though not this year with 2 of my kids getting their wisdom teeth out). A breast is extra nice!