Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with Herbs and Wine

Where has this year gone?  I truly can’t believe that it’s time for me to talk turkey already.  It seems like it was just yesterday that my mother and father in-law came to visit and I made this for them…but that was last year, before Thanksgiving.  Since we weren’t going to be able to have Thanksgiving Day dinner with them, I made a mini-Thanksgiving for us and had this turkey breast for the first time.  I’d never made a turkey breast before, always a whole turkey, and if I’m being honest, I wasn’t expecting much.

I figured I wasn’t brining it, or stuffing it full of veggies and herbs, as I always do with a large turkey.  It would certainly be a decent enough dinner for us, but probably wouldn’t be anything to write home about…because it honestly seemed too easy to be amazing.  I didn’t even take pictures of it for the blog last year, and anyone who has eaten at my house in the past year knows that me not taking pictures as I cook is a rarity.

Boy, was I wrong.  As soon as we sat down to dinner, my mother in-law said, “You’re going to put this on the blog, right?”  Well, I couldn’t.  Remember?  No pictures!  I promised myself that I’d make it again the following year and post it for all of you, because it’s that good.  I don’t know how it works, but this simple little turkey recipe produces a perfect turkey breast.  It’s so incredibly moist and flavorful, you’d swear that I’d brined it for 24 hours like I do my big bird.  It’s simple enough that you can throw it together easily for a smaller Thanksgiving dinner or just for a regular Sunday dinner, as I did last night.

Thanksgiving turkey can be a pretty intimidating thing for some people.  It really shouldn’t be.  It’s a big bird, no doubt, but if you’re armed with a good recipe, an ovenproof thermometer, and some patience, you’re good to go.

I started with this little guy…

He’s not so pretty there, but give him some time.

To begin, all I did was put the turkey breast, skin side up, in a roasting pan and pop it in a 325* oven for an hour.  No basting yet, no buttering or seasoning.  Nothing.

A few minutes before my timer went off, I mixed together an amazing concoction of melted butter, a little white wine (you could substitute apple juice if need be), some fresh chopped rosemary, a bit of dried thyme, minced garlic, paprika, and salt.

Once my timer went off, I opened my oven and brushed half of the butter mixture over my turkey.

(I know, it still doesn’t look all that great.  Just wait.)

I set my timer for 30 minutes and let it roast some more.

After the 30 minutes, I opened the oven back up and brushed the remaining butter mixture over the turkey.

Then, I closed the oven door and set my thermometer to the magical temperature of    165* F.

**A quick note on thermometers.  If you’re going to roast a turkey, or even just a chicken, at any point in your life, I highly recommend getting a digital thermometer with a probe, like this one http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-1470-Digital-Cooking-Thermometer/dp/B00004XSC5/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1352732030&sr=8-2&keywords=oven+thermometer+with+probe .

You can get them anywhere.  I think I got mine, which is just like the one in the link, at Target.  It’s a wonderful little device.  You stick the probe in, set it to the temperature you want on the base that stays outside the oven, and it beeps to let you know when you’ve reached the temperature you desire. No more guessing, or opening up the oven constantly, to check the temperature.**

After about an hour more, my timer buzzed, telling me we had reached 165*.  I brought my, now beautiful bird out of the oven, and moved him to a cutting board, where I let him sit for about 15 minutes as I got the gravy and sides together.

Letting the bird rest before slicing into it allows those juices to settle in, so they don’t run out of your bird once you slice into it.  It will make for easier slicing too.

(See?  I told you it would be pretty.)

The gravy was simple enough.  I poured the drippings from the pan into a measuring cup, let the fat rise to the top, and I spooned off most of the fat.  Then, I added enough chicken broth to get me to 2 cups of liquid.  The drippings didn’t amount to much, maybe 1/2 cup, so make sure you have enough chicken broth on hand to make up for it.

I brought the drippings to a boil in a small saucepan on the stove, and then stirred in a mixture of some cornstarch and water, to help thicken it up.  This gravy doesn’t end up being super thick and creamy.  It does thicken up a bit, and is delicious because of all of the garlic, herbs, butter and wine, but isn’t a creamy gravy.

Look at how dark it is, though.

It’s that dark because it’s packed with rich flavor from that turkey.  The chicken broth certainly didn’t darken it up!

We sat down to a wonderful Mini-Thanksgiving-Sunday dinner last night, and we were all pretty happy with how it turned out.  Just as I’d remembered, the turkey was moist and deliciously flavorful, and the gravy was amazing.  Avery, in true turkey eating form, promptly fell asleep on the couch after dinner, happily satisfied, and her belly full.


Adapted from BettyCrocker.com

Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with Herbs and Wine
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Holiday
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 bone-in whole turkey breast (4½ - 6 lbs.), thawed if frozen
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup dry white wine, or apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. cold water
  • 1½ - 2 cups chicken broth
  1. Heat the oven to 325*.
  2. Place the turkey, skin side up, on a rack in a large, shallow roasting pan. Insert an ovenproof meat thermometer so the tip is in the thickest part of the breast and does not touch the bone. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  3. Mix together the melted butter, wine, thyme, rosemary, salt, paprika, and garlic in a small bowl.
  4. Brush the turkey with half of the butter mixture. Roast for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, brush with the remaining butter mixture. Roast for about an hour more, or until the thermometer comes to 165*F.
  6. Remove the turkey from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes for easier carving.
  7. Meanwhile, pour the drippings from the pan into a large measuring cup. Let the fat rise to the surface, and skim off most of the fat. Add enough chicken broth to the drippings to measure 2 cups of liquid.
  8. Heat the drippings and broth to boiling in a small saucepan. Mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water. Stir this into the drippings. Boil, and stir for 1-2 minutes, until gravy thickens slightly.
  9. Serve the gravy with the turkey.
  10. ENJOY!

16 thoughts on “Oven Roasted Turkey Breast with Herbs and Wine

  1. As an “orphan” on Thanksgiving with all of my family away from me, I am counting on this yummy-looking recipe to center my tiny, two-person celebration. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • I know that “orphan” feeling all too well! Hope you guys have a wonderful, sweet little California Thanksgiving. And I hope you enjoy the turkey! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Turkey & Bacon Turnovers with Tomato-Avocado Salad - Chew Nibble Nosh

  3. Oh, thanks giving! Today I’m thankful for you providing this recipe and making me look like a rock star in the kitchen (when in all reality tonight was the first time I’ve EVER cooked turkey!) This recipe was perfect for my small family dinner, and SO DELICIOUS! The turkey inside is incredibly moist, cooked to perfection, and the skin was fought over worse than I’ve seen any other year. Personally I don’t eat the skin but this time after tasting it I had a big piece all to myself. I could write a novella in this reply about how awesome this turned out! Oh, and the GRAVY!! I think this may be the best gravy I’ve had, much less made. Gah! I cannot thank you enough as I’m sitting here sucking up all this praise and my ego is so inflated it could burst at any moment, all thanks to you. I’m so glad I found this, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! And happy turkey day!

    • Oh my goodness! Happy, Happy Thanksgiving! I’m so glad that the turkey was a screaming success. We love this recipe too, and I’m so glad that you had the same success with it that I’ve had. It is definitely a keeper! Enjoy the awesome turkey ego afterglow! You deserve it! 🙂

  4. Christine, made this delicious turkey breast for our orphan family of four tonight. 😉 AMAZING! Won’t wait until next year to make it again. So easy and yummy. Thank you for the recipe and happy Thanksgiving!

    • It’s perfect for orphan Thanksgivings! So glad it worked out for you. Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  5. We just had this for dinner, and I had to let you know how yummy it was! I typically do not like breast meat, because it’s always so dry. This was so juicy and yummy! I will be making it again, that’s for sure!
    Thanks for sharing!
    I found you thanks to Pinterest.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it! You’ve inspired me to make it again soon! I love it in the fall. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I am making this tonight! It is my second time making this since I pinned it 7 weeks ago!I was wondering if you have tried this recipe with a whole turkey. I want to try this it out this Thanksgiving with a 20 pounder. Thoughts!?

    • I haven’t done it with a whole turkey…but I’ve thought about it! If you do it, let me know how it goes!! So glad you’re enjoying the recipe!

  7. A.Maz.Ing. Amazing. I made this on Saturday for Thanksgiving #1 with my inlaws and it was delicious! I thought I didn’t like turkey- turns out I just don’t like the dry turkey I’ve been eating all these years. I sorta didn’t want to share the recipe because I don’t want folks to know that I hardly did any work at all to make this super yummy bird. We will definitely be eating this again before next November. Thanks for helping me look like a star in front of my family! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. I just made this (the day after Thanksgiving…), and it was SO good. My cooking skills are seriously lacking, but this made me feel like a super star! Thank you for this awesome recipe!

    • I am so glad you liked it! We didn’t have it last night for Thanksgiving…but I grabbed a turkey breast when they were on sale and it’s waiting in my freezer to be put to good use soon! 🙂 Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

  9. My husband ued this at Thanksgiving on a turkey breast and it was a big hit. Planning on using it on a whole turkey this weekend. Any additional tips for that?

    • Well, you’re going to need to roast it longer. 😉 Other than that, I would think it would be ok. If it starts to brown too much before it comes to temperature, loosely tent some foil over the bird in the oven. Good luck! Let me know what you think!

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