Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Herbed Turkey Breast Roast with Gravy

Herbed Turkey Breast Roast

Why make a whole turkey and deal with bones and things, when the breast is the best part anyway? We buy a breast roast, which makes things so much easier. You can buy them at the grocery stores already rolled into a nice little package that is a cinch to cook. When selecting your roast, keep in mind that it is all meat. Your best friend with a roast is a meat thermometer, because I completely rely on mine to tell me when the roast is done. I begin cooking it approximately 2-2 1/2 hours before I plan to serve it.

You will need:

1 boneless turkey breast roast (we usually get one that is 1 1/2 kg...or around 3 lbs)
sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 stalks of celery, cut in 1/2
1/2 onion, cut into three pieces
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup water, chicken broth, or white wine (or combination thereof)

Preheat oven to 350 F

Arrange the celery, onion, and garlic in the bottom of the roasting pan or dish. The idea here is to have the roast sitting in the veggies, not in the broth, so it's roasting and not poaching. Add more veggies if you need to. These give the gravy a wonderful flavor.

Brush the roast itself with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Most turkey breast roasts are packaged in a twine mesh...I arrange the herbs under and through the mesh. If there is no mesh, you can use a knife to make a few small holes in the roast and push the herbs directly into the meat. Push your meat thermometer right in the thickest part of the roast and set the whole thing on top of the veggies in the roasting pan. Add the liquid to the bottom of the pan. Cover the roast loosely with tin foil, allowing the thermometer to stick out so that you can see it, and put it in the oven. Keep an eye on the roast, checking periodically to see if it needs more liquid. Don't allow the liquid to completely run dry or your gravy won't be so tasty. A good sized (approx. 1 1/2 kg) roast should take about 2 hours, but don't take my word for it. Trust the thermometer.

Take the turkey roast out of the oven and let it sit for a good 10-15 minutes to let it rest and for the juices to go back into the meat. Set it on a cutting board while you make the gravy.

Turkey Gravy

1 3/4 cup chicken broth
turkey drippings
2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Bring the chicken broth and drippings to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. In a separate dish, combine the cornstarch and cold water. Add to chicken broth, whisking gently. Turn the heat down to medium low and continue to whisk and simmer until it thickens. If it's not thick enough for you, combine a little more cornstarch and water, add to the gravy, and whisk some more.

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