My final Thanksgiving recipe is the most important — the turkey. This year I decided to do a turkey breast instead of a full turkey. It’s only the four of us and I decided to do the ultimate faux pas — no potatoes. Not mashed potatoes. Not sweet potatoes. No potatoes. Instead, I had the turkey, dressing, cranberries, pie, buns from my dad, and salad. This recipe, from Celebrating the Midwestern Table, was really good. The only issue is that I didn’t debone the turkey, so it took a while longer to cook — and the onions and raisins burned onto the bottom of the pan. When I took it out of the oven, the smoke detector went off! Oops! Oh well. The turkey tasted good, it just didn’t have caramelized onions and raisins like I thought might be the case.
Sweet-Spiced Turkey Breast, Roasted on Onions and Raisins
Spice Paste and Turkey
3 large cloves garlic, minced, about 1 1/2 Tbsp
2 large green onions, minced, about 1/2 c
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp coarsely cracked pepper
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil
1 large, boned, skinned turkey breast, about 2 1/4 lbs, flattened slightly between sheets of plastic wrap
Onion and raisins
1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced, about 3 c
1/2 c golden raisins
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
Put a rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Set aside a sheet of heavy-duty foil, large enough to enclose the turkey breast, and a shallow roasting pan.
For the spice paste and turkey, combine the garlic, green onions, spices, and oil in a small dish. Wash the turkey breast and dry it with paper towels. Rub the paste evenly onto the entire surface of the turkey. The turkey can be roasted immediately or refrigerated overnight, covered airtight.
For the onions and raisins, place them in the center of the foil. Sprinkle the vinegar over them. Place the turkey breast on top of the onions and raisins. Tent the turkey in an airtight foil package, leaving a small amount of space between the foil and the breast. Place the turkey foil-pack in the reserved pan.
Roast until an instant reading thermometer inserted halfway through the thickest portion registers 160 degrees, about 30-35 minutes. Don’t open the foil to test the temperature; just insert the thermometer right through the foil.
Carefully open the foil to release the steam. Let the turkey rest 10 to 20 minutes, loosely covered, before cutting it into thin diagonal slices. Arrange the slices on a warm platter. Spoon the juices, onions, and raisins over the top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and minced parsley. Serve it hot, at room temperature, or chilled.