I remember our first Thanksgiving together.
Well, let’s just set the stage: we were engaged, not married, we had an apartment we were both paying for, but we weren’t living together. We both had to work at Starbucks all day Thanksgiving day (actually we chose to so we could get some extra cash for the honeymoon) and then the plan was to make a quick Thanksgiving meal, watch a Christmas movie on TV and then likely I would pass out on the couch while Nate drove home.
Sounds like a good plan, right?
There’s a hitch though: I had never made Thanksgiving dinner on my own. I went off of the things I saw my mom do for stuffing and salad, bought some canned cranberry sauce (the real deal is fantastic, but I do love the stuff that slides out of the can too!) and decided on a turkey breast instead of a big turkey. No way the two of us were going to eat a whole turkey!
Oh, did I mention that I had never roasted meat before? All of my meat experience was either stovetop cooking or grilling and the oven was a very foreign thing. I was nervous.
The result of that first Thanksgiving meal together? It was OK…the stuff I learned from my mom tasted great and of course the cranberry sauce was the same, but I don’t remember that turkey breast having much flavor and it was likely kind of dry. Fast forward to now when I have a little more kitchen experience and I’m still nervous about Thanksgiving dinner! So much so that I made a turkey breast last weekend…you know, to practice.
If only all practice tasted this good!
- 1 bone-in skin-on turkey breast, 2-4 lbs (the one I used was about 2 lbs)
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, room temperature
- 1.5 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp pepper
- 2 cups white wine (I used a chardonnay)
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4-6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces
- 1 whole onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat your oven to 300. Toss all of the vegetables with the olive oil and lay in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Pour the white wine in with the vegetables. In a small bowl mash together the butter, herbs, salt and pepper. With clean hands rub all over the skin of the turkey breast, making sure to use all of the mixture. It might seem like a lot of salt and pepper but it will season the vegetables as well. Place the turkey breast in the middle of the pan over the vegetables. Roast at 300 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the internal temperature of the meat is 165. Remove from the pan and cover with foil to let the meat rest. Increase the heat to 400, add about 1/2 a cup of water to the vegetables, and return to the oven for 10 more minutes. The potatoes should be tender. Serve the turkey breast with the vegetables OR mash them together (or puree) to make a delicious root vegetable side dish.