Ludo Lefebvre and His Son Demonstrate How to Make the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Breast
Ludo and Luca Lefebvre share the secret to a perfectly cooked turkey breast with honey lemon glaze.
The lead-up to Thanksgiving means that turkey is about to fill our kitchens, and Ludo Lefebvre's is no exception. In the latest Ludo (and Luca) à la Maison, chef Lefebvre is joined by a very special guest—his son, chef Luca Lefebvre—to make turkey breast with honey lemon glaze, because a.) "Turkey is the most important thing in Thanksgiving," and b.) "Chef Luca loves turkey."
First, Lefebvre instructs, make sure to brine the turkey breast overnight in water. Then, to avoid ending up with a dry, overcooked turkey, he reveals a trick: wrap the turkey breast in three layers of plastic film, and then two times in aluminum foil, the first to keep the steam inside "like a steamer," the second to keep the plastic from melting.
While cooking at 250 degrees for "trois heures" (three hours), the Lefebvres work on the glaze. They add a bit of rosemary, thyme, salt, and olive oil to garlic, then wrap it all in aluminum foil and roast the bulb for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Once it's done, they peel the garlic and add it to a blender with honey, olive oil, lemon juice, orange (which the older Lefebvre points out is "the color of Thanksgiving), and chicken stock (which the younger Lefebvre points out is really just "chicken juice.") They blend it all together.
Removing the turkey, the father-son duo put it into ice water to stop the meat from cooking, then unwrap it. Luca brushes the turkey with glaze, and they add a little bit of herbes de provence (Lefebvre's own, of course), then put it back in the oven at 425 degrees. During the 25 minutes it cooks, Ludo says, "You baste, then you baste, then you baste, every two minutes," never leaving it alone, until it's done."
Finally, all that's left is the gravy. Ludo melts butter, adds a little bit of flour and mixes, slightly cooking the flour. He adds more chicken stock/juice, along with rosemary and thyme to infuse flavor, plus some fresh-squeezed orange and lemon juice and dry wine. They reduce it by half, at which point Ludo feels it's missing a bit of acidity, so he adds "a little touch" of white wine. He pours the leftover glaze in for more flavor, strains and adds a touch of vinegar, and viola, it's done. Judging by how much Ludo, Luca and another surprise family member enjoy the final product, this turkey recipe will likely have your family giving thanks to you come this year's biggest shared turkey-based meal.