Herb Turkey Breast with Cider Gravy
Ideal for tinier T-Day dinners and Friendsgivings that don’t require the fanfare of a whole bird centerpiece.
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For the Turkey:
- 4 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 boneless turkey bread half with skin on (2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
- 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and diced small
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
For the Gravy:
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Prep the turkey. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and oil to form a thick paste. Gently loosen the skin on the turkey breast with your fingers. Rub the breast all over with the garlic and herb paste, including underneath the skin. Arrange the turkey breast neatly with your hands, tucking the edges under. You’re aiming for your “roast” to be as cylindrical as possible. Tie the breast with a few loops of kitchen twine, making sure to tie it once lengthwise to help keep its compact shape.
- Place the turkey skin side up in a small shallow roasting pan or large cast-iron skillet. Scatter the apple around the breast, then pour the chicken broth into the base of the pan. (You want the turkey to fit snugly in its roasting vessel here. If you use something too large, the liquid will evaporate and the apple will dry out, which is bad news for the gravy.)
- Roast the turkey breast for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1½ hours (depending on its size), until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 160°F and the juices run mostly clear with a little pink, basting once at the 45-minute mark. (I just use a spoon to drizzle the pan juices over the breast. No need f (continued) or a baster.) The internal temperature of the breast will continue to rise to about 165°F after you remove it from the oven, so be very careful not to overcook it!
- Turn the broiler to high. Place the turkey beneath the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, until the skin is browned and crisp. Transfer the turkey breast to a cutting board. Tent it loosely with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes while you make the gravy.
- Make the gravy. Transfer the liquid and apple from the roasting pan to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, whisk the chicken broth, cider, and flour in a small bowl. Add this mixture to the saucepan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the gravy has thickened. Stir in the thyme. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Remove the strings from the turkey breast and slice crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Serve warm with the cider gravy.
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