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Aaron McLean


  • 1.2 kg boned double turkey breast (see Cook’s Note)
    60g butter
    Finely grated zest 1 lemon
    1 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves or ½ Tbsp dried tarragon
    2 Tbsp chopped marjoram
    2 Tbsp thyme leaves
    2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
    1 tsp salt
    ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 Tbsp plain flour
    ¼ cup dry white wine

    Gravy with pomegranate molasses
    2 Tbsp plain flour
    1½ cups lightly seasoned stock
    1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

Turkey breasts with lemon & fresh herbs

Julie Biuso
  • Serving size: Serves 8
  • Cooking time: More than 1 hour

Separate turkey breasts, pull off skin and discard, then rinse thoroughly. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Melt butter in a bowl big enough to hold turkey breasts. Mix in lemon zest, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Using tongs, gently toss turkey breasts in bowl until evenly coated with buttery seasonings, finishing with what was the skin side facing up. The turkey can be cooked immediately, or covered and refrigerated for several hours, but bring to room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.
Dust a medium roasting bag with flour and fold bag back to make it easier to put in the turkey breasts. Put the bag in a roasting tin that has enough space for the bag to expand a little during cooking.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and when hot, put in turkey breasts skin side down. Scrape in any buttery herby bits from the bowl. Now’s the chance to get them a good golden brown, but keep an eye on the heat or the garlic may burn. Cook for several minutes until golden, turn breasts over and seal for 1 minute only. Transfer to prepared bag.
Add wine then tie bag with a metal tie. Pierce bag a dozen times on top. (Do not rinse frying pan – this is the basis for gravy.)
Roast turkey in an oven preheated to 180°C (regular bake). Cook for about 20 minutes, or until just cooked through (the juices will just be running clear and the meat will be just tinged with pink and very juicy; the breasts will continue to cook as they stand. Do not overcook.  
Untie roasting bag, carefully transfer turkey breasts to a board and drape with tinfoil. Pour juices from the bag into a jug and, when they settle, scoop off fat and discard. Add 3 Tbsp juices to residue in frying pan and set over a medium heat. Stir in flour, cook for a minute or two, then stir in remaining juices and stock. Stir gravy with a slotted fish slice until it comes to the boil (the fish slice smooths out any lumps). Let gravy reduce for several minutes; keep it on the thin side (add more water or stock if too thick). Season with salt and swirl in pomegranate molasses. Transfer gravy to a small saucepan and cover with a lid. This makes it easy to reheat and gets rid of the bulky frying pan from the hob.
Slice turkey breasts thinly against the grain. Spoon a little hot gravy onto a large heated platter and arrange sliced turkey on this. Spoon over a little more gravy and serve immediately. Serve remaining gravy separately in a heated gravy jug.

Cook’s Note
If using a frozen turkey breast, thaw slowly in the fridge for up to 36 hours. Rinse and pat dry as described.

From Taste magazine, November 2008

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