Thursday, October 25, 2012

Roast Turkey Breast with Gravy

(adapted from a recipe at

1 6-lb bone-in turkey breast, rinsed and patted dry
2 T butter, softened
Salt and pepper
1 stalk celery, cut into 2” pieces
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 small onions, peeled and quartered (about 6 oz total)
3 c turkey or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 325.

Rub the turkey all over with the butter, including the cavity of the breast. Season generously with salt and pepper. Scatter the vegetables on the bottom of a roasting pan just large enough to hold the turkey (a 9x13 cake pan should work, or maybe even a 9x9 cake pan). Set the meat breast-side up in the pan. Roast for 2 to 2-1/2 hours (an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast should register 160 degrees), then transfer to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil for 30 minutes. This will allow the juices to settle back into the meat and also let the turkey roast continue to cook until it’s done, at 170 degrees.

To make the gravy, pour any drippings into a small bowl. Skim off the fat. Add 3 tablespoons of the fat to the roasting pan, and save the rest for other uses. (I scramble my eggs in it.) Place the roasting pan on a burner over medium high heat** and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Whisk in the stock and the de-fatted drippings and continue to stir. Remove the celery pieces, then puree the gravy in a blender or food processor. Don’t forget to put a towel over the lid of the blender, and hold down tightly, or you’re likely to have gravy all over the kitchen. There’s something about blending hot liquids that tries to force the lid off.

**If you’re using a Pyrex or Corning Ware type baking dish, don’t put it on the burner! Instead, pour the vegetables and the defatted drippings and the 3 tablespoons of fat into a sauce pan. Heat the stock to boiling, and pour part of it in the roasting pan, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Pour the stock into the sauce pan, and repeat with the rest of the stock. Take out the celery pieces, and puree the rest in a blender or food processor. 

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