When I got married in 2003 I knew how to cook about 4 things. Those were fast and prone to leftovers, and suited my lifestyle as a single medical student (aka, person who wasn’t home very much) extremely well. Once I got married I started to expand my repertoire a bit, mostly thanks to Martha Stewart and Williams Sonoma. I had subscribed to Martha since college, and I hoarded my dog-eared back issues for years.
I had a little bit of a reputation in the family as a Martha wanna-be, and that reputation made it all the more nerve-wracking when suddenly I was the one making Thanksgiving Dinner for my new in-laws. I am certain that I volunteered for this job, but suddenly I was very worried about this meal! I had never made a turkey before, what was I thinking?
I scoured the internet and my Martha issues for the best turkey recipe. When I found about 10 different recipes from Martha alone, I decided to go all out, and I combined my four favorites into my own Full Martha Effect Turkey. It involves homemade brine, herb butter, tenting the turkey under cheesecloth and frequent basting… this is a multi-day process and a high maintenance bird. But it is delicious.
As much as I love the Full Martha Effect turkey, it is way too much work for a small family get together! When just my immediate family is there for the holiday, we still want turkey. So, I simply downsize to a turkey breast.
I’ve tried out a few turkey breast recipes, and most of them are too much work and not juicy enough for my tastes. As well, almost every recipe calls for a bone-in, skin on turkey breast. Which seems to be pretty hard to find in the stores around me. The Butter Roasted Turkey Breast recipe from Bon Appetit is just about perfect. I’m sharing my modifications here.
Which Type of Turkey Breast to Buy?
Note, I use a Butterball frozen turkey breast. No need to be super fancy, the real secret is butter. I’ve made this recipe a few times, including cooking 2 one morning for my daughter’s first grade Thanksgiving feast! It was a hit with both classmates and parent volunteers.
A foolproof recipe for juicy and flavorful roasted turkey. It doesn't take long and you can cook several at a time to feed a crowd.
- Turkey Breast 3-4 Pounds
- 1.5 Sticks Butter Unsalted
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Rosemary, Thyme, Sage
- 3 Cloves Garlic Whole
Preheat oven to 425°. Rub softened butter over the entire turkey breast and under the skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter the fresh herbs and whole cloves of garlic in the bottom of a roasting pan, under the rack. Place the turkey breast on top of the rack.
Roast until the thickest part of the turkey reaches 160°, about 45-50 minutes. If there are separate pieces, test each piece separately and remove from the oven as they are completed. Once completed, let it rest under a piece of foil for 10 minutes before slicing.
Because this is cooking at home and not in a factory, there might be some variation between how I prepare this recipe and what you create at home. As such, all nutritional information are estimates and may vary. If you like this recipe or find it useful, you can rate it by clicking on the stars above. A 4 or 5 rating would be greatly appreciated!