During the holidays, my Grandma Clara would roast an extra turkey breast in her decades-old enamel roasting pan so my grandfather Frank would have leftovers. Her food was simply made and filled with a lot of heart. This holiday season, I am embracing the simple turkey breast with simply delicious and easy side dishes, like Roasted Apples & Shallots, Brown Butter Applesauce with Cranberries, Pumpkin & Tomato with Olives & Feta, and Apple Rutabaga Gratin with Irish Cheddar. The brown butter with sage fancies up this turkey breast, but the bird cooks quickly in just over an hour, giving me extra time to enjoy being with family and friends.
- 2½ sticks salted butter
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage + leaves for garnish
- 1 4-5 lbs. turkey breast
- 3 tablespoons coarse Kosher salt
- ⅔ cup water
To make the brown butter
Place the butter in a medium skillet. Melt on medium-high heat. Continue cooking another 5 minutes or until the butter starts to turn a golden amber color. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon. Be careful not to burn.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Add in the remaining sage – the butter will foam up. Stir it with the spoon. Let cool 5 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill until it solidifies, but is not hard, at least 30 minutes.
To roast the turkey
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Take the turkey breast out of the refrigerator and place on the counter for at least 30 mins up to 1 hour to release the chill. Remove the giblets and save for gravy later or discard. Rinse well under the sink. Transfer to several layers of paper towel and dry very well. Place in the roasting pan.
Retrieve the brown butter from the fridge. Using a spoon, scrape it up and stir until it becomes spreadable.
Salt the turkey breast with the Kosher salt - inside the cavity and out. Using your fingers, schmear the brown butter all over the turkey breast. Drop some inside the cavity, too.
Pour the water in the bottom of the roasting pan.
Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour or until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast reads 160°F. Baste the turkey breast with the brown butter every 15 minutes.
Transfer the turkey breast to a large cutting board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. It will continue to cook slightly.
Carve. Place on a platter. Spoon the brown butter on top. Garnish with additional sage leaves.