The best turkey breast

The best turkey breast.JPG

I dry brine even when the breast is free range. To save time buy a kosher turkey breast (available at some supermarkets) and skip the dry brining. If you can’t find one large turkey breast buy two small ones to make up the 4 pounds; they’ll cook in half the time. Serve with gravy.

Serves: 6


  • 1 2-kilogram (4-pound) boneless turkey breast with skin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal is my choice)
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mild or hot smoked paprika


Wash turkey breast and pat dry. Sprinkle salt all over breast and under the skin if possible. Let it sit for 6 hours or overnight, covered and refrigerated. Rinse salt off well, then rinse again and pat dry. Let sit at room temperature for one hour.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Combine butter, garlic, sugar and paprika. Brush over breast and spread some under the skin. Place breast in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F. Roast a further 45 minutes to 1 hour or until juices are clear, basting occasionally. Timing will vary depending on the thickness of the breast. The meat should be at 160 F on a meat thermometer. It will rise another 5 degrees as it sits.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.