Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dry Rubbed Roast Turkey Breast

Last night the wife, in her current effort to eat healthy,  presented me with a large skinless, boneless turkey breast. This piece of meat typically fills me with dread - fat-free pure protein.  No skin to crisp up, no bones to provide flavour and no fat to baste and lubricate the meat. Challenge accepted.

Whenever I find myself with a really lean piece of meat that threatens to dry out in a nano-second,a braise is usually in order, but I decided to go another direction tonight, slow roasting. To seal as much moisture in the bird as possible, I created a dry rub. This dry rub is a personal signature blend of spices that I have used to great effect on beef many times. I typically make it spicier with a lot of black pepper, but I had the kids to consider, so this is the rub sans pepper (with no measurements - I'm not giving everything away)

Crush the following in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder:
  • Whole juniper berries
  • Whole brown mustard seeds
  • Whole allspice berries
  • Whole fennel seeds
  • Smoked sweet paprika
  • Dried sage
  • Kosher salt
You can also add brown sugar which will caramelize very nicely in the oven, but I opted not to on this occasion. I rubbed the turkey breast thoroughly with this concoction and then put a fresh bay leaf underneath and a top the meat before going into a slow 325F degree oven for about 50 minutes. Flip the meat a couple of times during this process because the juices tend to follow gravity and you risk having one half of the breast slightly dryer than the other.  Once done (check with a probe thermometer if necessary - the standard is 170 degrees, but I think you're good at 155 as it will continue to cook after you take it out), let it rest for good ten minutes. Then carve it up.


I served it with a homemade BBQ sauce, some sweet corn and a big salad. It was juicy and succulent and way beyond anything you'd eat at Thanksgiving.

Healthy indeed.

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