The Food Guy, Steven Keith Eating his way through the state, plate by plate

Let’s Talk Turkey, Shall We?

We’re months removed from Thanksgiving, but I’ve got turkey on the brain this week.

Roasting a big bird is something most people only do once or twice a year for special occasions. I don’t blame ’em. They’re not cheap, they eat up tons of fridge space, they’re messy to prepare, they take time. We always love the finished product in November, it’s just not a commitment we’re prepared to make on a regular basis.

Which is why I’m now a breast man!

The wife brought home a nice turkey breast this week and said, as she often does, “You need to do something with this.” So I roasted that bad boy and rocked her world.

I don’t know why we don’t go this route more often. You get the same look, feel and taste of a big Butterball — just in a tidier “Mini Me”-like package. And they’re less expensive, easier to store and a breeze to prepare …

  1. After thawing appropriately, just remove the turkey breast from the package, rinse and pat dry. (There’s no messy neck, giblets or hardware inside the cavity to deal with — just a package of pre-made gravy that you should IMMEDIATELY throw away. It’s pretty gross, so you’re better off making your own with pan drippings or just using the turkey’s natural juices as an au jus.)
  2. Season the skin with a mixture of your favorite herbs and spices. (I use fresh for Thanksgiving, but gave this one a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper and various dried herbs. I also painstakingly smear herbed butter between the meat and skin of our annual Thanksgiving bird, but skipped that step here. The breast is moist enough and this is all about keeping it simple.)
  3. Place the breast in a Dutch oven or small roasting pan, throw in some chopped onions, carrots and/or celery for aroma and flavor, then cover and slow-roast in the oven on low heat all darn day. (Or, for quicker results, follow the times and temperatures listed on the package.)

That’s all there is to it, and this thing was RIDICULOUS! So juicy, tender and flavorful. We lapped it up that night with rice pilaf and roasted asparagus. And the next night in a turkey curry casserole. And the next day in toasted turkey melt sandwiches.

Thanksgiving, Schmanksgiving.