Before I roast a turkey, I like to brine it in a combination of Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt and buttermilk with some special aromatics. It's a winning combination I have used for the last 10 years that produces a moist, extra flavorful bird. My family LOVES it!
This Thanksgiving, I have partnered with Morton® Salt to use their Coarse Kosher Salt and something I find extra cool - the Morton® Brine Time Amazon Skill. It teaches you step-by-step how to make a simple brine, and I add on my own personal twists to create the buttermilk brine.
This particular recipe is inspired by my grandmother Clara who used to roast a turkey breast every holiday so that my grandfather Frank would have turkey leftover after the big meal to enjoy for a couple days. Rather than roasting a whole bird, which can take several hours, this year, I am opting to simplify things and roast a turkey breast for Thanksgiving Day. This way, I have a delicious, moist bird and more time to enjoy my family and friends.
Follow me along on my Instagram feed @ChadwickBoyd. In my stories, I show you step by step how to make this recipe.
NOTE: If you are roasting a whole turkey, from 12-14 lbs, double the recipe.
- ¼ cup Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt + 3 tablespoons
- 2 cups hot water
- 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage, divided
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- Peel from 1 medium orange
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 5-7 lb. turkey breast
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1-2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
To brine the turkey
Use a large mixing bowl, preferably glass.
Follow the Morton® Brine Time Amazon Skill instructions. When it cues you to add your aromatics of choice, add the 3 tablespoons of sage, peppercorns, orange peel and bay leaf. Stir well with a wooden spoon. Instead of adding the cold water according to the Skill, pour in the buttermilk. Stir again.
Rinse the turkey breast and remove the giblets, if any. Pat dry with a few paper towels.
Submerge the turkey breast side down in the brine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, make the brown butter.
To make the brown butter
Place a medium skillet or sauce pot on medium-high heat. Add the butter. Once the butter has fully melted, start to stir frequently with a wooden spoon. The butter will begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Watch closely so you don't burn it. Turn the heat down slightly if the butter cooks too quickly. When the butter reaches an amber color, take it off the heat. Using a spoon, gently skim the foam off the surface. Let cool 1 minute and then add the remaining sage. The butter will bubble up. Stir well.
Continue cooling for 5 minutes. Transfer the brown butter to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator alongside the turkey breast until you are ready to roast.
To roast the turkey
Take the turkey and the brown butter out of the refrigerator and set on the counter. Remove the turkey from the brine and place it on several layers of paper towel. Pat it dry really well. Discard the remnants of the brine. Transfer the turkey breast skin side up to a roasting pan with a rack*. Let the turkey and brown butter come to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Sprinkle the turkey breast with the remaining 3 tablespoons of Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt. Using a kitchen spoon, stir the brown butter until it’s smooth and spreadable and schmear all over the turkey breast, including underneath.
Pour 1 cup of the chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan. You may need to add an additional cup of broth as the turkey roasts.
Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast reads 160°F. Baste the turkey breast every 15 minutes.
Transfer the turkey breast to a large cutting board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for 20 minutes. It will continue to cook and rise to the optimal temperature of 165°F.
Carve. Place on a platter. Spoon the brown butter drippings on top. Garnish with additional sage leaves.
*If you don't have a roasting pan with a rack, a large cast iron skillet will work well, too. Just don't use as much chicken broth.