Thursday, November 23, 2006

Herbed Turkey Breast with Cider Gravy

Impress your (carnivorous) friends and family! Roast a turkey breast -- it's so good you won't want to wait 'til Thanksgiving. This makes a delicious dinner and equally delicious sandwiches the rest of the week.

One 4 lb turkey breast

Zest of one lemon
15-20 fresh sage leaves
Large handful fresh parsley
2 T fresh thyme
1 t salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 T butter, at room temperature

Small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 orange, washed and quartered
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
2-3 bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a roasting pan just big enough for the turkey breast.

Mince the lemon zest and herbs and mix into the butter along with salt and a couple grinds of pepper.

Rinse and dry your turkey breast. Carefully run your fingers between the skin and the flesh from one end, being careful not to pull it completely off, creating a pocket. Rub the herb butter under the skin on each side, spreading it evenly. Season the turkey breasts generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the onion, orange, and garlic in the cavity, along with a few bay leaves and some extra sprigs of sage, thyme, and parsley.

Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, until it’s started to brown nicely. Decrease the temperature to 400 degrees and roast for another 50 minutes or so, until a meat thermometer reads 175 degrees.

Remove from the oven, transfer to a platter, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Do NOT wash the pan yet - you need the drippings to make the gravy. Don't be scared! Good gravy is easier than you think:

1 1/2 c apple cider (or so)
1 T butter
4 T all-purpose flour
1/4 c white wine
tiny bit of lemon juice

Pour the juices from the roasting pan into a measuring cup. Let stand for a few minutes to allow fat to rise to top, then skim fat off. Add apple cider to pan juices in measuring cup to total 2 cups of liquid.

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add flour and whisk thoroughly to get out any lumps. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until just starting to turn tan-colored. Add white wine and whisk it in. Add the pan juices/cider mixture and whisk until completely smooth. Bring to a simmer, and stir until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and a small squeeze of lemon juice to taste.

Slice the turkey breast and serve with gravy.

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