Sunday, November 22, 2009

Roast Turkey Breast With Madeira Sauce

Instead of cooking a whole turkey, a turkey breast is a timesaving substitute for a holiday dinner or other special gathering. And roasting the breast on its own will ensure moist, tender meat. This recipe is perfect if you are preparing dinner for a group of  8. It's also a great addition to the meal when you are cooking for a crowd and are concerned that a whole turkey won't provide enough meat for everyone.

This year, I am having a very small Thanksgiving and rather than cooking a turkey, I will be having one of these with my immediate family.  If there is only four of you, halve the recipe and only purchase one turkey breast.  Or do both and have enough leftovers for turkey croquettes and sandwiches.

There is also a Roast Turkey Breast With Apples, Onions and Sage recipe in the main blog.

Serves 8


2 boneless turkey breast halves, each 2 1/2 to 3 lbs.

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

2 Tbs. canola oil

5 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock

2 Tbs. all-purpose flour

2 Tbs. Madeira wine

Kitchen Bouquet


Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Season both sides of each turkey breast half with salt and pepper, then sprinkle each side evenly with the parsley and 1 tsp. of the thyme.

Lay one breast half, skin side down, on a clean work surface and lay the other breast half, skin side up, on top of the first, with the thickest parts of each breast at opposite ends. When tied together, they should form a roast of even thickness. Cut 6 to 8 pieces of kitchen twine, each about 12 inches long, and tie the turkey breast halves together at 2-inch intervals.

In a small roasting pan or a large ovenproof fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil and 3 Tbs. of the butter. When they are nearly smoking, brown the roast for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the turkey, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 165°F, about 2 hours.

Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the turkey to a carving board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the turkey rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, set the roasting pan over medium heat and add the stock and the remaining 1 tsp. thyme. Bring to a simmer and whisk to scrape up any browned bits; keep warm.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth and blended and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and just begins to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the drippings from the roasting pan along with the Madeira, stirring to combine.  Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet to darken the sauce. Stir again.  Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Carve the turkey into 1/4-inch-thick slices and transfer to a warmed platter. Pour the sauce into a sauceboat and pass alongside the turkey. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

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