These tender and flavorful Cider-Brined Turkey Breasts are a great alternative for for your harvest celebration if you do not want to roast an entire turkey.
Cider-Brined Turkey Breasts
Makes 8 to 10 servings
- 3 cups apple cider
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup kosher salt
- 3 navel oranges, halved
- 8 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 (4½- to 5-pound) bone-in skin-on turkey breasts
- 6 cups ice
- 2 navel oranges, quartered
- 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Citrus Gravy (recipe follows)
- For brine: In a large saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
- For turkey: In a very large bowl or resealable container, combine turkey breasts, cooled brine, and 6 cups ice. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours, turning turkey occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Line a large roasting pan with foil.
- Drain turkey, discarding brine. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Place turkey, skin side up, in prepared pan, and scatter oranges, onion, and rosemary around turkey. Brush turkey with melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°, and bake until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 165°, about 45 minutes more, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Transfer turkey to a cutting board, and let stand for 20 minutes before slicing. Reserve pan drippings for Citrus Gravy.
Makes about 2 cups
- Reserved pan drippings from Cider-Brined Turkey Breasts
- 11/2 cups chicken broth, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup apple cider
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- Strain reserved pan drippings through a fine-mesh sieve into a liquid measuring cup to measure ½ cup, discarding solids. Add ½ cup chicken broth to drippings.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in drippings mixture, cider, and remaining 1 cup broth until smooth; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in thyme, pepper, and salt to taste.
Kitchen Tip: If you prefer a thinner gravy, whisk in up to ½ cup more broth for your desired consistency.
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