Greg and I have a tradition of having two Thanksgivings every year… one with family/friends… and one for just the two of us. I like to curate the whole meal and have all the leftovers. This past Sunday, we had Thanksgiving part deux.
Since I was only cooking for two people, I made a turkey breast instead of the whole bird. I combined recipes from America’s Test Kitchen, Michael Chiarello, and Martha Stewart to achieve a juicy roast, full of flavor, with a crispy skin. As Chiarello suggests, I used carrots and celery stalks to create a rack to prop up the meat. This recipe is super simple, and could be used for chicken or Cornish game hens as well. You will have left-over citrus salt…season the bird to taste.
Citrus Rosemary Turkey Breast
1 split turkey breast, on the bone, 3-4 lbs, rinsed and well dried
2 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tblsp coarse sea salt
1 tblsp lemon zest, plus two lemon halves
1 tblsp chopped fresh rosemary, plus two springs
3 celery stalks
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse the salt, lemon zest and chopped rosemary in a food processor until well blended.
2. Coat the turkey breast with1 tblsp olive oil. Season thoroughly with 1 tblsp of the Citrus Rosemary Salt, pressing to adhere. Pull the skin up and season underneath.
3. Position the carrots and celery in a roasting pan to create a rack for the turkey to rest on. Place the turkey, breast up, on top of the vegetables. Stick the lemon halves and rosemary sprigs underneath as well. Drizzle with remaining olive oil.
4. Roast until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer reads 165° when inserted into the thickest part of the breast, about an hour and 20 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and let rest, covered with aluminum foil for 15 minutes before carving.