In the summer, we - like most people - want to minimize the time we spend in the kitchen cooking, so roasting something that can provide multiple meals in many forms fits the bill. Turkey, it seems to me is an under appreciated fowl. Sadly what we all remember are those Thanksgiving turkeys that were cooked for hours in the oven, basted with everything from butter to beer, resulting in dark meat (which hardly anyone liked) that was done and white meat (which everyone wanted to love) which was grossly overdone. The cranberry industry had to love it because you truly couldn't eat the white meat without the addition of some moisture, traditionally in the form of cranberry sauce.
Well our dry, flavorless white meat days are behind us since I found this recipe for Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast in the Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? If you cook only the white meat you can control the "doneness" and thus the moisture of the final product. Adding a mixture of rosemary, thyme and sage under and on the skin allows for the herbs to add the essence of their flavors to the meat as well as the skin. We have made this roasted breast of turkey numerous times now and it's done to perfection every time, and what better meat to use as an anchor to several summer lunches and dinners. Roast turkey, of course, turkey sandwiches, turkey salads, and naturally we freeze the carcass so I can make turkey stock for soups when the heat breaks. You can't go wrong making this one day this week, it will feed you until next week-end.
Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
(Serve 6 to 8)
1 whole bone-in turkey breast (6½ - 7 pounds) (we found Shady Farms in our grocery store)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup dry white wine
Preheat oven to 325 ℉. Place turkey breast on a rack in a roasting pan, skin side up.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture evenly all over the skin of the turkey breast. (You can also loosen the skin and smear half of the paste underneath, directly on the meat.) Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Roast the turkey for 1½ to 1¾ hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest and meatiest area of the breast. Check the breast after and hour or so; if the skin is over-browning, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
When the turkey is done, remove from the oven, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and allow the turkey to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm with the pan juices.