You can enjoy this simple, impressive meal for special occasions and casual dinners alike.

By Bridget Hallinan
October 16, 2020
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When you think of roasted turkey, particularly for the holidays, the first thing that comes to mind might be a big, trussed up 12- to 14-pound bird. However, in this week’s episode of Mad Genius: Home Edition, our very own culinary director-at-large, Justin Chapple, is back to show you how to make his recipe for ancho-rubbed turkey breast with vegetables—no tricky carving, no brining, no spatchcocking needed. It would certainly make a lovely main course for a holiday dinner (it yields six servings, so it’s ideal for smaller celebrations), but it’s so simple that you can also whip it up for casual suppers, too. After all, the recipe only has two steps, and it all comes together on one baking sheet.

Read on for Justin’s method and follow along with the video above.

Set Up Your Seasoning Station…

Justin grabs three containers to organize the various seasonings that will go on the boneless, skin-on turkey breast. The first one is for olive oil, the second bowl is a combination of salt and pepper, and in bowl three, he mixes ancho chile powder, ground coriander, onion powder, a little sugar (to add a “je ne sais quoi” quality and help brown the outside of the turkey as it cooks, he says) and lastly, finely chopped fresh oregano.

…and Season the Turkey

Next, it’s time to grab the turkey and add flavor. Justin places it skin-side down on the baking sheet and drizzles on olive oil, rubbing it on evenly—you can use a pastry brush instead if you’d prefer not to use your hands. After that, he seasons it with some of the salt and pepper mixture and half of the spice mix, rubbing it all over the meat. Be sure to flip and repeat the seasoning process for the other side, too.

Tie It Up, Let It Sit

After the turkey is seasoned, Justin demonstrates how to fold it and wrap it with kitchen twine to shape it into a roast. Drizzle it with another tablespoon of olive oil, and then let it sit and marinate for an hour at room temperature.

Don’t Forget the Vegetables

Seasoned Russet potatoes, poblano peppers, and red onions accompany the turkey into the oven—and in addition to helping round out the recipe into a meal, they also serve as an “edible roasting rack,” for the turkey, Justin says. Placing the turkey directly on top of them on the baking sheet allows hot air to circulate around the meat and helps it cook evenly.  

Get It in the Oven

Justin places the turkey in a 425 Fahrenheit oven and says it needs to cook until an instant-read thermometer, inserted in the thickest part of the turkey, reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit. It should take about an hour (way faster than the average turkey).

Take off the Twine and Enjoy

Once the turkey breast is out of the oven, Justin allows it to rest for roughly 20 minutes and then transfers it to a carving board—the vegetables go straight onto the serving platter. Before you start slicing the turkey, make sure you remove the twine. (You don’t want any surprise bites of string in your meal.) Then, you’re all set to cut it up and serve, whether it’s the centerpiece of your holiday table or a comforting, hearty meal to tuck into on the weekend.

Get the Recipe: Ancho-Rubbed Turkey Breast with Vegetables