Many years ago, I by mistake cooked a turkey breast. My life-long best friend, Debbie, was visiting from South Africa and we were going to cook Shabbat dinner together. I thought I had taken a veal roast out the freezer, and only much later, when it was near defrosted did I discover it was a turkey breast. We had prepared for a veal roast, so we made some adjustments, and very unhappily I cooked the turkey breast. I was really nervous, as to me turkey breast is always so dry, and I just could not imagine this being our special Shabbat dinner. Well, guess what, I was wrong. It turned out to be absolutely delicious. This was a number of years ago, long before I started my blog, so I did not write down what we did. Since then Peter has been asking me to make another delicious turkey breast, and now that he has the anti-biotic, hormone free ones, I really wanted to try them, but again I was nervous. I could not remember what I did last time, so I created a new recipe. Success!! It was succulent, flavorful and just delicious with mashed potatoes, roasted baby zuccini and yellow squash. I hope you enjoy it as much as we and our visitors enjoyed it.
Roasted Turkey in Tomato and Wine Sauce
1 turkey breast backbone in1 large onion sliced
1 lb. small peeled carrots
6 stalks celery cut into bite size pieces
1 to 2 tsp. kosher salt
Place the onion, carrots and celery in
a silver foil or a roasting dish.
Salt the outside and inside
of the turkey with kosher salt, making sure to get some salt under the skin as well. It is important to salt the bird all over with a thin layer of salt, as it really enhances the flavor.
I really enjoy going out on my deck and picking the fresh herbs. I still have fresh sage, rosemary and thyme growing, so it was easy to gather them. I wash them well, dry them, and strip them from their stems. I then use a very sharp flat edged knife to chop them as finely as I can. Finally I mix them with the margarine to make a kind of “paste”
Rub the entire outside of the turkey with this paste, and try to get it under the skin as well. Place the turkey with the breast side down on the vegetables.
Next I make the sauce. I am always nervous of cooking turkey breast without a sauce as I am afraid it will dry out. In addition the sauce gives the meat such a delicious flavor, keeps it moist and succulent.
Pour the sauce over the turkey, into the cavity and over the vegetables. Cover with foil and bake in a 350°F oven for around 1 and a 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, turn the breast, and remove the foil. Return the turkey to the oven and bake for an additional hour, or until the thickest part of the breast reads 160° when a thermometer is inserted into it. At this point remove it from the oven, cover it in foil and let it stand for 15 minutes before you slice it.
Remove the breast from the bone. Slice it, put it on a platter and spoon the gravy and vegetables over it. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice and a fresh garden salad.