Through the years, I’ve not been shy about my indifference towards turkey. I’ve referred to as it “a little bit of a thermodynamic nightmare” with “the dumbest meat.” I’ve additionally been fairly clear about my choice for thighs—as darkish meat inherently has extra fats and taste. But this buttermilk-brined, roasted turkey breast recipe has me wanting inward, questioning every part, and consuming so, a lot turkey, together with my phrases.
I assume I shouldn’t be shocked that soaking an entire breast in buttermilk would lead to tender, flavorful, oh-so-juicy meat—how might you go improper with all that acid and fats?—however the first chunk shocked me, and it turned me into an unapologetic turkey breast fanatic. The buttermilk supplies a creamy, tangy be aware, whereas infusing the meat with moisture and protein-tenderizing lactic acid.
Earlier than we get into the how-to, let me deal with the query I do know is simply burning up inside you: “Why not buttermilk brine a entire turkey?” You definitely might. I’ve used this brine on entire turkeys, and it really works fantastically, although you do should control the darkish meat, as buttermilk promotes speedy browning, and buttermilk-soaked thighs and legs might burn earlier than they attain their very best temperature.
This may be mitigated with some aluminum foil, nevertheless it requires some futzing and vigilance, and there’s magnificence within the futz-free nature of a breast-only method. Not solely is that this one of the best roasted turkey breast I’ve ever had, it’s among the finest roasted turkeys I’ve ever had, interval. This recipe addresses the chicken’s explicit wants by including moisture, fats, acid, and tons of taste. I, a self-proclaimed darkish meat purist, am virtually too enthusiastic about it.
Buttermilk Brined Roasted Turkey Breast
- 4-5 pound bone-in turkey breast
- 1 quart of buttermilk
- 1 quart of water
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 5 smashed garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns (white are very best)
- 1 bay leaf
- Citrus fruit slices (A few lemons and oranges is loads.)
Pour the water right into a sauce pan, together with the salt, sugar, garlic, pepper, and the bay leaf. Deliver every part to a boil, then take away from the warmth, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Let the brine cool to room temperature. As soon as it’s cool, mix it with the buttermilk, then pour the combination over the turkey breast in a brining bag or small bucket. Cowl and refrigerate for twenty-four hours.
Preheat the oven to 375℉, take away the turkey from the brine, and let drain on paper towels, blotting to take away extra moisture from the pores and skin. Scatter your fruit within the backside of a roasting pan or giant skillet, place a trivet or rack on high of that, then set the turkey on high. Roast uncovered till the pores and skin is well-browned, protecting with foil in the direction of the top if it begins to look dicey. Proceed to roast till the thickest a part of the breast reads 155℉, about 90 minutes to 2 hours, relying on the dimensions of the hen and your oven. Take away from the oven, and let relaxation for quarter-hour earlier than carving. Sprinkle with some Maldon salt and citrus zest, and tuck right into a most tasty celebratory hen.