“How do you keep your meat from drying out?”
It is a common enough question. In fact, I’ve been asked it here on the blog. All of us have had bone dry poultry put on our plate and the leaner the bird (as in turkey) and the leaner the cut (as in turkey breast), the greater the risk of it drying out. So what do you do?
- My first tip actually comes at the end. Don’t cut into it too early. A good 10-15 minutes rest after it comes out of the oven (with a loosely tented piece of foil over it) will allow the juices evenly distribute back into the meat.
- Sear. If you have the chance to heat up a nice pan to the point where oil is just about to smoke and allow the meat to cook for three minutes on each side, you create a barrier that makes it difficult for the natural juices in the meat to escape.
- Brine. Letting the meat spend time before you cook it in a salt bath increases the liquid retention in the meat, so you start with a juicier piece to begin with.
Haven’t brined yet? It is simple. The ingredients are not difficult. The key is time. You need quite a bit of it. Overnight is best, so plan ahead. I planned ahead and made a Beer Brined Turkey Breast.
I served these with Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
You can’t tell, but the turkey is in the bowl. I used two Guinness and one Michelob Light. Don’t ask me why, they were the first three beers that I grabbed.
Post brining. The recipe calls for one on the bone, but my local store more often has the boneless kind, so just check it a little earlier as it won’t take as long to cook.
Still spiced after cooking.
I also roasted some potatoes. I quartered them, drizzeled olive oil over them and stripped a piece of fresh rosemary to sprinkle over.
Bake them at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hr 15 mins | Servings: 6 | Difficulty: easy
- 1 1-3/4- to 2-pound turkey breast portion with bone
- 3 12-ounce cans beer
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 6 bay leaves
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Place turkey in a very large bowl. Pour beer over turkey. Add salt, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, and sliced garlic. If necessary, add just enough water to cover turkey. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
2. Drain turkey, discarding beer mixture. Place turkey, bone side down, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. In a small bowl stir together the melted butter and minced garlic; brush over turkey. In another small bowl stir together the paprika, thyme, onion powder, sage, and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over entire surface of turkey; rub in with your fingers.
3. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into thickest part of the breast, making sure it doesn’t touch bone. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until juices run clear and turkey is no longer pink (170 degree F). Remove turkey from oven. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Makes 6 servings.