We had a small Thanksgiving celebration this year with just the five of us. This wasn't a good year for us to travel for big family gatherings, with the new baby and all, so we stayed at home and had a quiet, simple celebration. I cooked a sage-roasted turkey breast since we didn't need a whole turkey, and it's something I really should do more often throughout the year. I tried a new method, and it was fast and easy.
Most turkey roasting recipes have you cook for a long time at a slow temperature, but this one recommends a high temperature—450° F—and the bird is done in just 60 to 90 minutes, depending on weight. It worked great! The skin was crispy and flavorful, and the meat was moist and tender. The recipe calls for a 5 pound breast, but we used an 8 pounder which cooked in just over 90 minutes.
I now make this gluten free using cornstarch instead of flour in the gravy.
For further instructions on cooking with whole turkey breast, visit the Butterball website [not a paid endorsement].
[Updated December 2, 2012.]
Sage-Roasted Turkey Breast
- roasting pan and rack
- aluminum foil
- small pot
- 5 pounds whole turkey breast (bone in, skin on)
- 15 sage leaves
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups turkey broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 7 sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- Preheat oven to 450° F/230° C.
- Place the turkey on the rack in the roasting pan. Use your fingers to gently lift up the skin away from the meat. Place the bits of butter and the 15 sage leaves under the skin. Rub the oil over the skin and sprinkle with salt. Insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, staying in the meat. Don't let it poke through. Roast until the thermometer registers 170º F/77º C, about 60 to 75 minutes (longer if your bird is heavier).
- Remove the bird from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil. Leave the thermometer in. Residual heat will take the temperature up to about 175° F/80° C, at which the bird is considered done.
- Take 2 tablespoons of fat from the roasting pan and put into a small saucepan. Add the chicken broth, mustard, and 7 sage leaves. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. In a small cup, whisk the flour and cold water until smooth, then stir it into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute.
- Slice the turkey breast and serve with gravy and all the trimmings.