When it comes to a splendid holiday feast, the oven-roasted turkey breast stands as the crown jewel. And getting it just right will really make the center of your table shine. While there are numerous methods to achieve a delicious turkey, dry brining is a secret weapon to enhance flavor and tenderness. Today we'll explore how this age-old technique can transform your holiday centerpiece, and we are going to level it up with the addition of dehydrated apples. We'll discuss the benefits of dry brining, offer tips for selecting the best turkey breast, and guide you through the cooking process, ensuring a mouthwatering oven-roasted turkey breast.
The Benefits of Brining
Before we dive into the specifics of dry brining with dehydrated apples, it's essential to understand the science and benefits behind this culinary technique.
Unlocking Flavor and Moisture Retention
Brining, whether wet or dry, is a culinary magic trick that enhances the flavor of your turkey. By exposing the meat to a carefully crafted combination of salt and other seasonings, you encourage moisture retention, which results in a juicier, more flavorful oven roasted turkey breast.
As the salt in the brine interacts with the turkey, it subtly alters the meat's protein structure. This causes the turkey to retain more moisture during the cooking process, ensuring a tender and succulent final product.
Why Go Dry?
We think using a dry brine for oven-roasted turkey breast offers several advantages over a wet brine. Dry brining is less messy, as it doesn't require submerging the turkey in a liquid solution. It also enhances the turkey's flavor and texture by drawing out moisture, concentrating the natural juices and infusing the meat with the flavors of the brine ingredients, creating a beautifully seasoned, crispy skin that's a hallmark of a perfectly roasted turkey breast. Additionally, dry brining is more convenient, as it reduces the need for extra equipment and refrigerator space, making it an excellent choice for home cooks looking to simplify their holiday preparations.
Selecting the Perfect Turkey Breast : Quality Matters
The journey to a delectable oven roasted turkey breast begins with choosing the right foundation: a high-quality turkey breast. Here are some essential tips for selecting the best bird:
Opt for Freshness
When purchasing your turkey breast, opt for fresh over frozen if possible. Fresh turkey breasts are more likely to have better texture and flavor. Look for a turkey breast with a pinkish hue and avoid those that appear gray or off-color.
Consider Organic or Free-Range
If you have the option, choose organic or free-range turkey breasts. These birds tend to have a more robust flavor due to their healthier and more natural diet.
Select a turkey breast size that suits your gathering. Typically, you'll want ½ to ¾ pounds of turkey per person. Remember, a larger turkey breast may require more time in the oven. Turkey breasts come in two main variations: boneless and skinless or bone-in with skin. They are available in both half and full sizes. A half breast typically weighs around 3 pounds, while a full breast consists of two halves joined at the breast bone. A half breast is suitable for serving two to four people, while a full breast can generously feed six to eight individuals.
Preparing the Dry Brine: With A Hint of Apple
Combining the savory richness of turkey with the sweet, crisp notes of apples creates perfect seasonal harmony, and our dehydrated apple brine adds a delightful twist to your traditional oven roasted turkey breast. This brine combines the savoriness of salt and poultry-friendly herbs with the sweet tang of dehydrated apples for a unique flavor profile. Dehydrated fruits are becoming more and more readily available at local markets, and while dehydrating your own apples isn't as difficult as you might think, we saved time by getting them from the grocery store.
Ingredients for the Dry Brine
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Dehydrated apple chips
- Rubbed sage
- Dried thyme
- Dried oregano
Creating the Dry Brine Mixture
To prepare your dehydrated apples, you have to crush them up first. Toss the apple chips in your blender or spice grinder and pulse them until they resemble the texture of salt. You can also simply chop them with a knife, occasionally smashing them with the flat side of the blade to achieve the same results.
Once your apples are crushed up, mix all of the dry ingredients together. This recipe makes more than enough for one oven roasted turkey breast, so store it in an airtight container for future use.
Applying the Dry Brine: Infusing Flavor
Start preparing your turkey by patting it dry with paper towels. Then gently rub the brine all over the breast and under the skin. Remember that a little bit of brine mix will go a long way. I recommend using no more than 1 tablespoon of dry brine per pound of turkey. Place your brined bird uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 6 hours. Leaving it uncovered allows the outside to continue to dry while the brine works its way to the center, leaving your oven-roasted turkey succulent and juicy in the middle with a crispy skin on the outside. I like to place mine in a dish deep enough that nothing can touch the sides of the breast, and I gently drape a paper towel across the top.
Oven-Roasting Your Turkey Breast: The Main Event
Once the dry brining process is complete, it's time to roast your turkey breast to perfection. Here's how to achieve an oven-roasted turkey that will be the centerpiece of your feast.
Preheat Your Oven
Roasting a turkey breast at 325 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal because it ensures even cooking. This allows the turkey to develop a crispy, golden-brown skin while remaining juicy and tender on the inside. This temperature strikes a perfect balance, minimizing the risk of overcooking, resulting in a moist oven-roasted turkey breast.
Choose the Right Pan
Select a roasting pan with a rack that accommodates the size of your turkey breast. This ensures that the meat is elevated, allowing hot air to circulate evenly for thorough cooking. A well-fitted roasting rack not only promotes consistent cooking but also prevents the turkey from sitting in its own juices, contributing to a crispier skin and ultra moist oven-roasted turkey breast.
Butter Makes Everything Better
These final steps before roasting will give your bird a little extra touch of class. Remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. When the turkey breast is at room temperature, it ensures that the entire piece of meat cooks uniformly, minimizing the risk of uneven cooking or overcooked areas.
Place it in the pan with the skin facing up and rub softened butter all over it. Cooking in butter will add to the succulence and contribute to a crispy and golden brown skin.
Finally, pour chicken stock in the bottom of the pan. Adding chicken stock helps to maintain a moist cooking environment and infuses the meat with additional flavor, resulting in a juicy and delicious oven-roasted turkey breast. Click this link for our recipe for the Easiest DIY Rotisserie Chicken Broth.
Cooking Time and Temperature
The cooking time for your oven-roasted turkey breast depends on its size, but as a general rule, plan for about 15-20 minutes per pound at 325°F. You can also use a thermometer to ensure perfect cooking. The safe temperature to serve roasted turkey is 165°F, ensuring that it is thoroughly cooked and ready to eat.
Place your prepared breast on the middle rack, uncovered and allow to cook. Begin to check for doneness about 10 minutes before the cook time is up with an instant-read probe thermometer. If the chicken stock is drying out at this point, you can add ¼ cup more.
Once the thickest part of the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 160°F pull it from the oven and allow it to rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 15 to 20 minutes. Because of residual heat the turkey will continue to cook once it is pulled from the oven. This "carryover cooking" will bring your oven-roasted turkey the last few degrees it needs to reach the safe serving temperature of 165°F without overcooking it. The time it spends resting will also allow the internal juices to evenly redistribute throughout the breast.
Carving Your Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast
Once your turkey breast has rested, it's time for the grand reveal. Carving your oven-roasted turkey breast is an art in itself. Here are some tips to get it just right:
- Slice the turkey breast against the grain, to yield more tender and flavorful pieces.
- Use a sharp carving knife for clean and precise cuts.
- Angle your knife diagonally when slicing the breast, creating slightly thicker slices towards the center and thinner slices at the edges.
- Collect any juices that accumulate on the carving board; they make a flavorful addition to your serving platter or gravy.
Have turkey leftovers? You have to try this recipe.
You've gobbled till you wobbled, and now you're left staring at a mountain of leftovers. Fear not! I have the perfect solution, fresh from my kitchen to yours.
You have to try this turkey salad with diced celery, apples, red grapes, walnuts, and lemony dressing that I created for the California Grown website. This recipe is easy, fast, and keeps for days! Click here to make this leftover turkey salad!
If you’ve tried our Oven-Roasted Turkey I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below, I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours!Print
Apple Brined Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
The secret ingredient for our Roasted Turkey Breast With Dried Apple Brine lies in the dehydrated apple chips. These chips, crushed into a fine powder, infuse the turkey with a unique blend of flavors, alongside sage and thyme, making it a standout dish that's both simple to prepare and available in most grocery stores.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30-60 minutes
- Total Time: 0 hours
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Poultry
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
For the brine:
¼ cup kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dehydrated apple chips, crushed into powder
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
For the roast:
1 turkey breast, bone-in, skin-on
3 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup chicken stock, unsalted
To brine the turkey:
Finely chop dehydrated apple chips with a knife, spice grinder, or blender until its consistency is fine like a powder.
Mix all ingredients for the dry brine and place in a small resealable jar or resealable freezer bag. This can be stored in an airtight container for several months.
With a paper towel, pat the turkey breast dry.
Using 1 tablespoon of dry brine per pound of turkey, evenly sprinkle over the entire breast and under the skin. Place uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
To roast the turkey:
After the turkey has been brined and you are ready to roast, preheat the oven to 325°F.
Rub the softened butter evenly over the turkey breast, paying attention to the outside of the skin and under the skin.
Place the turkey breast skin side up in a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack, and pour chicken stock in the bottom of the pan.
On the middle rack, roast the turkey for 20 minutes per pound and start to check for doneness about 10 minutes before the cook time is up with an instant-read probe thermometer. If the chicken stock is drying out at this point, you can add ¼ cup more.
Once the thickest part of the turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 160°F pull it from the oven and allow it to rest, covered with aluminum foil, for 15 to 20 minutes. The turkey will continue to cook once it is out of the oven to an internal temperature of 165°F without losing moisture.
- Serving Size: 2 ounces
- Calories: 88
- Sugar: 1.9 g
- Sodium: 1933.1 mg
- Fat: 2.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.5 g
- Protein: 13.7 g
- Cholesterol: 36.5 mg