Back in the days long ago when I was a lonely, poor grad student, I’d come home from school every day to watch 1 hour of 30-Minute Meals with Rachel Ray, because I was cool like that. It was by watching all of her chop-and-drop that I learned how to really do a lot of kitchen basics, and also to make the no-fuss meals that you often see here (I’m not saying everything I make is 30 minutes, but if you really organize yourself well, you can make it work). Some of my favorite episodes were her “Thanksgiving in 60” and it was through those episodes that I discovered and learned about the wonder of the bone-in turkey breast slab and that wisdom I impart on you today.
Because I’m still cooking for a party of one, it seemed a little…extraneous to make a whole bird. Nevertheless, if you are the hostess (or host) with the most on the big day, the seasoning for this turkey can be applied to a whole bird should you have more mouths to feed than I. For a 10-12 pound turkey, I’d suggest multiplying the recipe by 2 or 3.
As for the recipe, I pull inspiration from one of my Middle Eastern favorites, tabbouleh, an herb salad, and it’s with that as a base stuff under the skin before baking.
Doing so imparts so much pizzaz to the entire cut of meat and with just the right amount of oven time, we end up with a juicy and flavorful centerpiece that ties in perfectly with the flavors of that righteous roasted fennel salad and almond and apricot dressing.
Mom’s rule of thumb is 20-minutes per pound of whatever meat you’re cooking. I found this 2.91 lb of turkey needed a little longer than 1 hour.
- 1- 3 lb bone-in, skin-on whole turkey breast
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Place all the ingredients (but using only 1 TB of the oil) in a small bowl and mix well.
- Place the turkey on a cutting board. Carefully run your fingers between the skin and the flesh over the whole breast, careful not to pull it off completely, but making a sort of pocket. Stuff the herb mixture under each skin, making sure it's evenly spread.
- Baste the breast with the remaining 1 TB oil, and another sprinkle of each salt and pepper..
- Place the turkey on a roasting pan and bake about 1 hour-1 hour, 15 minutes, or until a thermometer placed in the thickest part reaches 170F. Keep an eye on it, you don't want your turkey to dry out.
- Let the turkey rest at least 10 minutes before carving.
Written during The West Wing marathon that has been ongoing the past two days.
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