Roasted Turkey Breast with Cornbread-Sage Stuffing and Brandy Gravy

A delicious Thanksgiving main course...in less than an hour.

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- Posted on Nov 2, 2009

Guideposts: Roasted Turkey Breast with Cornbread-Sage Stuffing

The turkey conundrum: How to keep the breast meat from drying out while the dark meat finishes cooking? By roasting a bone-in turkey breast by itself, we've eliminated the stress and cut the cooking time by several hours.

What you get is perfectly moist, tender white meat with crisp, salty skin—all in under an hour. If you don't have time to make the gravy or want to cut calories, skip it. This succulent bird doesn't need it.

Ingredients

Stuffing
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1 bay leaf
1 small red onion, finely chopped 2 Tbsp. finally chopped fresh sage
2 stalks celery, finely chopped ½ c. chicken stock
1 garlic clove, minced 4 c. stale cornbread, crumbled into large pieces
¼  tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 2 large eggs, beaten
¼  tsp. freshly ground black pepper  
Turkey
One 3 ½-to-4-lb. bone-in turkey breast, halved
at the breast bone
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
Gravy
One 1 ½-oz. container veal or chicken demi-glace 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. brandy ½ c. heavy cream

Preparation

Stuffing

1. Preheat oven to 425°F and grease 9-by 13-inch roasting pan.

2. In large skillet over moderately high heat, melt butter. Add onion, celery, garlic, nutmeg, pepper, and bay leaf, and sauté until vegetables soften, 5 to 6 minutes.

3. Stir in sage and cook 30 seconds more. Stir in stock and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

3. Put cornbread in large bowl and pour vegetables over. Toss to mix well. Add eggs and stir to combine.

Turkey

1. Rinse breast halves and pat dry. Season generously with kosher or coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and rub all over with olive oil.

2. Mound stuffing in center of roasting pan and arrange turkey on top, making sure breast halves aren't touching. Roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of turkey (do not touch bone) registers 170°F and juices run clear when pierced with fork, 45 to 55 minutes.

Make the gravy while turkey is roasting.

1. In small saucepan over moderately high heat, combine demi-glace, ½ cup water, and brandy. Bring to boil, stirring until smooth.

2. Stir in butter, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered, stirring often, until gravy thickens, about 1 minute.

3. Stir in cream and season with freshly ground pepper. Serve hot, over turkey and stuffing.

Makes 4 servings

Tips

• It's easiest and fastest to ask your butcher to split the turkey breast in half for you.

But this can also be done at home: Use a heavy, sharp knife and don't be afraid to whack the breast at the wishbone several times until it comes apart. Slicing the skin down along the breastbone before you start cutting is also helpful.

• If your cornbread isn't stale, spread out slices on a baking pan in a 200°F oven until they feel dry and crumbly. (Depending upon how moist the loaf is, this can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.)

Then crumble up the slices. Any leftover stale bread—rolls, focaccia, even bagels—can be substituted for the cornbread.

• In the gravy, bourbon, whisky, wine, port, or vermouth can be used instead of brandy.

 

This recipe was first printed on Epicurious.com and is reprinted here with permission.

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