A month or so ago, I signed on to participate in a blogger campaign with OXO that had a roasting theme. My intention was to use the goodies and get the post up well in advance of Thanksgiving, because that would have made a whole lot of sense. Best laid plans.
Instead, there was a dab of travel. The cookbook I’m working on continues to expand and absorb my every waking hour. And I’ve been fighting a cold that will not end. So I am behind.
Instead of throwing in the towel or trying to find something else to roast before the campaign deadline, I am going to talk about apricot-glazed turkey breast. A few days after Thanksgiving. Perfectly appropriate, right?
My argument is that there are plenty of roasting opportunities still to come in the coming weeks. And I firmly believe that turkey breast is a really good option for holiday parties and gatherings (easier than a whole turkey! But just as festive and delicious!). At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Before I dig into the roasting and glazing technique, let’s talk about the OXO gear. They sent…
- Non-Stick Pro Half Sheet Jelly Roll (The non-stick surface made cleaning up the drippy jam so easy)
- Two Silicone Roasting Racks (A little elevation helps the heat circulate and the turkey cooks faster)
- Precision Digital Instant Read Thermometer (A key tool anytime you’re roasting meat)
- Good Gravy Fat Separator (A really useful tool!)
- Flavor Injector (I didn’t use this one for this project, but my Aunt Doris would have loved it)
For the juiciest and most flavorful finished roast, you want a whole, bone-in turkey breast. This isn’t something you typically find in the poultry case, but it’s something specialty butchers will have and you can always have your grocery store arrange one for you. Here in Philadelphia, you can almost always get a bone-in turkey breast at Godshall’s in Reading Terminal Market.
Now, if you’ve struggled with roasting turkeys in the past, know that you’re going to have a much easier time when you roast just the breast (the big issue with whole turkeys is that dark meat needs more time in the oven than the white meat, making it hard to get white meat that isn’t woefully overcooked).
You just salt the turkey breast well, pop it on the roasting rack, and get it into a 325F oven. It roasts for about two hours, until the skin is crisp and the internal temperature is around 150F. Once you reach that threshold, you paint on a generous layer of jam (I used apricot, but peach or cherry would also be good).
The temperature gets reduced to 300F and you roast for another 25-30 minutes, until the internal temperature is close to 165F (you want the final temp to be 165F, but the turkey will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven, so you want to remove it a few degrees shy of that).
The jam will darken into a gorgeous, sticky, flavorful crust. It makes a lovely addition to a holiday party spread (pair it with slices of good bread and homemade cranberry mustard for DIY sandwiches).
- 1 bone-in, whole turkey breast (about 5 1/2 to 6 pounds)
- 1/2 cup apricot, peach, or cherry jam
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Set the turkey breast on a roasting rack set on a pan. Blot the turkey breast with paper towels to dry and salt generously.
- Roast the turkey breast for approximately 2 hours, until an instant read thermometer reads 150F.
- Paint the jam on the turkey breast to coat. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F. Continue roasting the turkey breast until the jam darkens into a sticky glaze.
- When the temperature of the turkey breast is a few degrees below 165F, remove it from the oven. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil and let it rest. The meat will continue to cook for a while outside of the oven, so the internal temp should rise to 165F during the resting period.
- After 20-30 minutes of resting, the turkey is ready to carve and serve.