Turkey Breast

Turkey breasts might be the nemesis of every Thanksgiving cook out there. By the time the thighs and drumsticks actually come to an edible temperature, the breast can be overcooked and completely dried out. Food & Wine offers tips for keeping your turkey breast juicy and flavorful—during stressed holidays or not. Follow detailed directions for brining, basting, roasting and more for times when you want to conquer this fussy ingredient. Once you get the skills, you'll never have to eat dry turkey again.

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Air-Fryer Turkey Breast
If turkey breast is on your menu for the holidays (or whenever you want turkey), consider skipping the oven and using an air fryer instead — you'll get super crispy skin, and free up some room in the oven for other dishes to roast and bake. This recipe also keeps the turkey moist and tender thanks to a combination of dry brining and an herb-garlic compound butter that's rubbed under the skin. The drippings left behind in the air fryer basket have an important role, too, as they're saved to be transformed into gravy on the stovetop. Any leftover turkey can be used to make sandwiches, or in a soup. If doing the latter, save the bones from the breast for your broth.
Smoked Turkey Breast
Smoking a turkey breast results in smoky, juicy meat with a deeply golden skin. Applying the lemon-oregano rub under and on top of the skin ensures that the flavors permeate throughout the meat. The meat is very juicy when it comes out of the smoker, so make sure to allow it to rest for the full 20 minutes before carving and serving it, so the juices have a chance to redistribute.
Pastrami-Style Roast Turkey
Many years ago, I was introduced to pastrami-style roast turkey breast at a local Jewish deli and loved it so much that I set out to make a version at home. It is now one of our family favorites, and a recipe I often double to enjoy for dinner and then in sandwiches for several days after. The classic peppery spices are key, but a huge part of the appeal of this dish is also how simple it is to prepare. Boneless turkey breast is commonly sold at supermarkets in a variety of sizes, and you can ask to have it butterflied, or easily do this at home. The simple technique allows you to spread the spices evenly over the meat, which is then rolled and tied. This results in a perfect distribution of spices, as well as a pinwheel effect once the meat is sliced. Serve it with roasted vegetables, sweet potatoes, or a tangy slaw on the side.
How to Salt-Roast Turkey
Roast this year’s bird in a salt crust for the juiciest turkey ever.
Salt-Crusted Turkey
Rating: Unrated 2
Banish any chance of a dry bird with this salt-crusted turkey breast. Salt-roasting is a technique that is often employed to keep lean fish moist while roasting; the mixture of salt and egg whites forms a nearly airtight crust when baked, locking in moisture and flavor. It works the same magic with turkey. Whereas traditional methods for roasting turkey tend to yield dry white meat, salt-roasting delivers an incredibly juicy breast that's perfectly seasoned to the bone, with no brining required. Use kosher salt to ensure maximum coverage at a reasonable cost. While a 10- to 15-minute rest is ideal, the turkey breast can rest in its crust up to 30 minutes while remaining juicy and tender.
Kentucky Hot Brown
Rating: Unrated 1
Star chef Bobby Flay smothers an open-face turkey sandwich with cheese sauce and bacon for his version of the over-the-top Louisville classic.

More Turkey Breast

Turkey Breast with Ginger-Scallion Sauce
Rating: Unrated 2147
David Chang recommends poaching turkey breast in leftover turkey stock before serving it with ginger-scallion sauce, based on his favorite condiment at Great N.Y. Noodletown in Chinatown. More Recipes for Holiday Turkey Leftovers