How to Cook a Whole Turkey Breast

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Let your fully cooked turkey breast rest for awhile before you cut into it.
Let your fully cooked turkey breast rest for awhile before you cut into it. (Image: Raw turkey meat image by kuhar from Fotolia.com)

When you want to serve turkey but don't want to deal with roasting an entire bird, pick up a turkey breast to share with your family. Cooking the breast takes less time than the entire bird, and you get the delicious white meat of the turkey. Seasoning a turkey breast with fresh herbs is easy. The secret to a moist bird is putting some of the herbs under the skin and letting the bird rest after cooking before carving it.

Things You'll Need

  • Turkey breast
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 to 2 stems rosemary
  • 3 to 4 sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp. thyme
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup water
  • Roasting pan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Gently separate the skin from the breast in the middle of the meat with your hands. Do not remove the skin. Place the turkey breast in a roasting pan.

Chop the herbs together and mix them with the onion. If you are using dry herbs, just mix them together in a bowl.

Add half of the stick of butter to the herb mixture and mix.

Rub the butter-herb mixture underneath the skin of the turkey breast with your hands. If there is any left over, rub it on top of the turkey skin.

Rub the remaining butter on the turkey skin and sprinkle the breast with salt and pepper.

Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the roasting pan and put it in the oven.

Cook for 1 hour or until the meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. Baste occasionally.

Take your breast out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Tips & Warnings

  • If there is another herb that you prefer with turkey, add it into the mix!
  • Add sprigs of fresh herbs, onions or carrots to the bottom of the roasting pan for added flavor.
  • Check for the temperature by inserting a food thermometer in the thickest part of the breast.
  • Make sure the turkey's temperature is 170 degrees F or higher to ensure that it is cooked.

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