Recipe By Craig Wolford
Published Nov 18th
Prep 45m Cook 2h 30m Additional 1h 15m Ready In 1d 3h 90m
Servings 2 turkey breasts Calories 610.7

Easy, moist, and tender turkey breast. A foolproof turkey recipe to make your Thanksgiving dinner perfect. Use pan drippings to make a smoky turkey gravy.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, cracked
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 (5 pound) boneless turkey breast halves
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 1 sprig Spices, thyme, fresh
  • 1 sprig Fresh Sage
  • 1 teaspoon pressed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 6 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium yellow onions, quartered
  • 8 fluid ounces chicken stock, or more as needed

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Heat water for brine in a 6-quart pot over medium heat until steam begins to rise to the surface. Stir in kosher salt and sugar until dissolved. Add liquid smoke, peppercorns, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, and smoked paprika. Immediately remove from heat, cover, and let rest and bring to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Do not refrigerate to cool.
  2. 2 Place each turkey breast in a zip-top freezer bag. Evenly divide the brine, herbs, and garlic between the bags. Remove excess air, seal, and put into the refrigerator, 24 to 36 hours before you roast your turkey breast.
  3. 3 Remove turkey from brine, pat dry, and let rest for 30 minutes. Pour brine through a strainer; discard brine but reserve garlic and herbs.
  4. 4 Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  5. 5 At the same time, mix softened butter with rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic, black pepper, and paprika for herb butter. Set aside.
  6. 6 Arrange carrots, celery, bell peppers, onions, and reserved garlic and herbs from the brine in the bottom of a roasting pan. Rub about 1/4 of the herb butter on each breast under the skin. Don't remove the skin. Rub the rest of the butter on top of the skin. Arrange the breasts in the roasting pan on top of the aromatic veggie rack; add chicken stock to the bottom of the pan.
  7. 7 Roast in the center of the preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each breast reads 160 degrees F (71 degrees C), 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with a foil tent, and let rest for 15 minutes. The internal temp will rise above 165 degrees F (74 degrees C) during this rest.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 610.7
  • Carbohydrate 18.7 g
  • Cholesterol 293.5 mg
  • Fat 12.9 g
  • Fiber 3.7 g
  • Protein 100.7 g
  • Saturated Fat 6.1 g
  • Sodium 4067.3 mg
  • Sugar 11.7 g

Chef's Notes

The brine is probably the most important step. It will keep the breast moist and flavorful. Do not skip; Always brine foods in a food-grade, nonreactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket; Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of brine ingredients. The actual amount of brine consumed will vary.


  1. This is a terrific recipe. As he said, the key is the brine. I marinated for 36 hours before cooking. I couldn't find 2 5lbs breasts, so I used one 8 pounder. As a result, I had to cook it at 325 for 3.5 hours. My husband and I tasted it and I will say, - Read more ...

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