Whether you want to prepare ahead for Thanksgiving or just want to treat yourself to a juicy turkey breast, this recipe will blow your mind.
Not many people have brined their turkey before, and once they do, they can’t go back! If you want to brine a turkey and get that extra juicy and tender meat, this page will help you understand how to do it.
You can use this recipe to cook either a boneless turkey breast or a bone-in turkey breast, whichever feels better for you.
Let’s get started!
What Does Brined Turkey Involve?
Before you brine a turkey, let’s address its benefits.
A “brine” is a water and salt solution that can help you add more flavor and moisture to your turkey breast. Besides helping you get a better flavor, brining will also help you preserve food for longer.
If we were to get technical, a turkey brine will increase the moisture within its meat cells, which will produce tender and juicy meat pieces.
In most cases, you would brine a turkey for one hour per pound. However, if you want to stay safe, I suggest you brine your turkey breast overnight.
Should You Prepare a Brined Turkey Breast?
Now, let’s address the most important question: Should you brine your turkey breast?
As mentioned before, brining will make your turkey meat much juicier and tender, as the process will draw out moisture from the inside. If you use a “herb dry brine” method, you will also add much more flavor.
Moreover, this recipe is versatile enough for most people. You may want to save it for Thanksgiving, but you can also try it out on any special occasion. Keep in mind you can brine just the breast or the entire turkey.
The brining process isn’t that complicated to follow, and you don’t need that many ingredients, as you will be able to see in the ingredient card below.
Even if you have a frozen turkey breast, you can wait for it to defrost and then add the brine.
Is This a Good Thanksgiving Turkey Alternative?
Absolutely! The brine solution will do wonders for your turkey breast. Then, whether you get a roasted turkey breast dish or any other one, you will notice the difference in flavor almost immediately.
If you want to surprise your family next Thanksgiving, give this recipe a try!
Expert Tips to Consider
- Double or triple the recipe’s ingredients if you want to feed more guests.
- You can serve your turkey breast alongside mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, a corn salad, or a rustic apple pie.
- Make sure to buy the right size for your turkey breast depending on how many people you want to feed.
- Your turkey should be thawed before you brine it.
- Kosher salt is more recommended than table salt. If you’re using table salt, only get 1/4 cup.
- Don’t chop your ingredients into very small pieces.
- Get an instant-read thermometer to have a better idea of when your turkey is done.
- Wait at least 15 minutes before carving your turkey, as that will help the juices stay in the meat.
- You can store leftover turkey in the fridge for up to four days and microwave them to reheat them. On the other hand, you can store your leftovers in a freezer for up to three months. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before eating again.
- If you’re freezing your turkey, I suggest you slice it, freeze the pieces for an hour on a plastic wrap-covered baking sheet, and then get all of the pieces into an airtight container.
Now, you’re ready to impress everyone next Thanksgiving or special event! If you’re feeling creative, feel free to try out other herbs with this recipe and see which one you like best.
Brined Turkey Breast
Whether you want to prepare ahead for Thanksgiving or just want to treat yourself to a juicy turkey breast, this turkey breast brine recipe will blow your mind.
- 8 c. of water
- 1/2 c. kosher salt
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 c. fresh sage
- 8 cloves of smashed garlic
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 sliced orange
- 2 sliced lemons
- 4 c. ice
Whole Turkey Breast
- 5-7 lb. whole turkey breast
- 2 medium, quartered onions
- 4 cloves of smashed garlic
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. melted butter
- 1 c. chicken broth
- 3/4 c. chicken broth
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. water
- Pan drippings
- First, take the water and bring it to a boil. Once it's there, add the oranges, lemons, and the rest of the ingredients other than the ice.
- Let the mix boil until the salt and sugar dissolve. Then, add the ice to the mix so that it cools. Add the turkey breast to the pot, and cover everything with plastic wrap. Ensure that the turkey is fully submerged in the brining solution. You may need to place something heavy atop the plastic wrap to keep the turkey submerged.
- Place pot in the fridge and allow the turkey to brine for at least 3 hours.
- Take the turkey breast out of the pot and pat dry with the help of paper towels. Get the onions and garlic into a roasting pan, and place the turkey breast on the onions so that it doesn't touch the bottom.
- Once you're done, brush the turkey with melted butter and add your seasonings. Finally, add the chicken broth and cover the pan with foil.
- Roast at 350F for at least one and a half hours, remove the foil, and roast until the breast registers an internal temperature of 165F in its thickest part.
- Discard the leftover onion and garlic from the pan drippings. Then, add the drippings to the saucepan, add the broth, and bring everything to a simmer.
- Take the water and cornstarch, mix them, and whisk until you get the thickness you want. The thicker you get the gravy, the cooler it will get.
- All that's left for you to do is to serve!
If you have a brining bag, you can brine the turkey using the bag. Simply add the brine and turkey to the bag. The duration of the brining process depends on your taste, but if you have time, I suggest you let it stay in the fridge overnight.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 3105Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 1619mgSodium: 6351mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 14gProtein: 599g