A turkey breast is ideal for a small group or to supplement a full bird. It takes only about 90 minutes to roast, depending on your oven. And you don't have to worry about keeping it moist while waiting for the rest of the turkey to finish roasting.
Make Ahead: Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes ahead.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 1 (6 to 8 pounds) bone-in turkey breast, brined if desired*
- 1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a V-rack with nonstick spray oil and set it inside a roasting pan.
Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels. Loosen the skin by running your hand just under the skin and use your fingertips to spread 3 tablespoons of the butter under the skin. Place the turkey breast in the rack. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and brush it over the breast. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the water into the roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and roast for about 1 more hour or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees. (The temperature continues to rise after the turkey is removed from the oven.) Transfer to a carving board and let it rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
Adapted from "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook" (America's Test Kitchen, 2005).
Tested by Judith Weinraub.
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