Roast turkey breast turns out tender and flavorful with this easy recipe using herb butter. This approach to roast turkey is perfect for small holiday meals.
Everyone wants a beautiful roast turkey for Thanksgiving but not everyone has a crowd to feed. If you want to make turkey your holiday centerpiece without the hassle of a whole bird, a bone-in turkey breast is a great option. A bone-in turkey breast is generally around the size of a whole chicken.
If you can’t find one already packaged for purchase ask your grocery store butcher to prepare one for you. This is generally not a problem as they will be able to sell the other parts separately to another customer. You can also pick a whole bird and have the butcher cut it into pieces for you. You can cook these in different ways – I love this apple-herb brine for turkey legs – or you can have the other parts wrapped for freezing.
This recipe is super simple and turns out amazing every time. Don’t skip the step of starting your roast turkey breast in the oven at a high heat so you get a gorgeous color on the skin. With little fuss and in less time, you’ll have a picture perfect roast bird with tender meat seasoned with fresh lemon and herbs.
- 1 (5 lbs) whole, bone-in, turkey breast
- 2 large onions, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp minced fresh sage
- 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- zest of a large lemon, about 1 tbsp
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Set the oven rack to the vertical center and pre-heat the oven to 425F. Arrange the onion slices in a single layer in a roasting pan. Place the turkey breast on the onion slices and pat it dry with paper towels.
- In a food processor, or with a fork, blend together the butter, herbs, lemon, salt, and pepper. Loosen the skin on the turkey breast and rub ¾ of the butter mixture under the skin, both on top, sides, front, and back. Dot the remaining butter on the top of the breast.
- Roast the bird in the oven for 15 minutes (this part can get smokey but it gives the skin a lovely golden crispness) then reduce the oven temperature to 375 and continue roasting for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature at the thickets part reaches 155F degrees.
- Remove the turkey from the oven, tent loosely with foil, then let rest for 15-30 minutes. Use the pan juices as the base for gravy if desired.