Recipe Project #164: Roasted Cajun Turkey Breast

Back in the summer, we started cooking large pieces of meat, slicing them thin on the big meat slicer, and freezing them in half-pound bags for sandwiches. This turkey breast was one of the first experiments and has become a regular. I’m planning on making another one before I start teaching again in a week. It’s adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s Sunday Night Roast Beef and Gravy with Easy Rice, of all things.

1 turkey breast, on the bone
1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cups turkey or chicken broth
+/- 1/2 cup of white wine (optional)

2 tablespoons cornstarch (if making gravy)
1/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Season the meat on all sides with the Essence, salt, and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the the turkey from the pan, deglaze with a good glug of white wine or some of the broth and add the onion slices and thyme sprigs. Place the breast on top of the onions. Add the broth to the pan and place in the oven, uncovered. Roast until the breast is tender and done, approximately 160F. Let it rest for a minimum of 30 minutes after you remove it from the oven.

At this point, you have choices: you can either strain and defat the juices in the pan and save them for another purpose, or you can turn them into turkey gravy if you’d like to serve this as part of a hot turkey dinner. If you’re doing gravy, then:

Use a slotted spoon to discard the onions and thyme sprigs. Place the Dutch oven over medium-high heat to heat the turkey drippings. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the beef drippings and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully transfer to a gravy boat or decorative bowl.

Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup. (I keep mine in a closed Mason jar. It’ll make two rounds of roasted turkey.)

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