This recipe uses two methods of treating meat. Brining helps the turkey breast retain moisture, and a simple chipotle rub lends a smoky, spicy flavor.
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 (64 ounces) whole turkey breast, on the bone, rinsed in cold water and patted dry
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 teaspoons adobe sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the hot water. Place this solution in a container large enough to hold the turkey breast submerged in water. Add about 8 cups of cold water and place the turkey breast in the container with the brine. If you need more liquid to submerge the turkey completely, add it in the proportion of 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar to 1 cup of water. (Or place a large roasting bag inside a second roasting bag, place both bags in a large bowl, add the turkey and brine, and seal the bags tightly, eliminating any air pockets.) Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 12 hours.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, mince the garlic with quick on/off pulses. Add the olive oil and let the machine run to puree the garlic. Add the chipotles, adobo sauce and black pepper and continue processing until the mixture is smooth.
Remove the turkey from the brine. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. On a roasting rack in a roasting pan, place the turkey skin side up. Rub all of the chipotle puree over the surface of the breast. Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest part of the breast near the bone reads between 160 degrees and 165 degrees. The skin should be a deep brown; if it appears to be in danger of charring, reduce the heat 25 degrees.
Adapted from Mitchell Davis's "Kitchen Sense" (Clarkson Potter, 2006, $35).
Tested by Jane Touzalin.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.