Roast turkey sliced on a wooden cutting board.
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Roast Turkey Breast with Cranberry Balsamic Glaze {Brined Turkey}

This roast turkey breast is brined, roasted to tender juicy perfection, then served with a tart and sweet cranberry balsamic glaze.
Servings 4 people
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

Roast Turkey.

  • 3 lb turkey breast
  • 2 TBSP Rotisserie seasoning Or simply use fine kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 large carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 1 large leek, sliced in half lengthwise You can replace the leek with a quartered sweet onion
  • 1 generous handful of fresh herbs, like sage, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, etc. Using a pre-made "poultry blend" of fresh herbs is ideal. You can find these with the fresh herbs in the supermarket.

Turkey Brine (this step is optional, but encouraged).

  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 TBSP peppercorns
  • 1 generous handful of fresh herbs, like sage, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, etc. Using a pre-made "poultry blend" of fresh herbs is ideal. You can find these with the fresh herbs in the supermarket.

Cranberry Balsamic Glaze.

  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBSP cranberry sauce (jam, compote, or chutney works as well) When using store-bought cranberry sauce, don't use the jellied kind (the one that comes out shaped like a can). It doesn't break down properly.
  • 3-4 TBSP balsamic vinegar Start with 3; if you feel you need to add the 4th TBSP, go for it.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 TBSP brown sugar

Instructions

Turkey Brine.

  • Fill a large stock pot with water, 1/2 cup of coarse kosher salt, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add the smashed garlic cloves. Bring the contents to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add the herbs and peppercorn. Then, squeeze the juice from the orange and lemon into the pot (don't worry about the pits); place the squeezed orange and lemon into the pot as well. Remove the pot from the heat and let the liquid cool. (Speed up the process by adding ice to the stock pot).
  • Once the brine is cool, carefully place the turkey breast into it. I do this in the sink to ensure no brine spills onto any of my kitchen surfaces. Cover the pot, and refrigerate for at least one hour, but no longer than three hours.

Roast Turkey.

  • Preheat the oven to 325º F.
  • Line a cutting board with paper towels. Carefully remove the turkey from the brine and place it on top of the covered cutting board. With more paper towels, pat the top of the turkey until dry. Rub the top of the turkey with the Rotisserie seasoning. If you're using salt and pepper, then simply sprinkle a bit of the salt and pepper over the breast.
  • Pour 2 cups of vegetable broth into the bottom of the sauté pan or Dutch oven. Line the bottom of the pan with sliced carrots, celery stalks, and the leek. Carefully place the breast on top of the vegetables, then tuck the fresh herbs into the around the breast.
  • Place the turkey in the oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until the thickest part of the breast has an internal temperature of 165º F. Remove from the oven and let the turkey rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into it.
  • While the turkey roasts, make the cranberry balsamic glaze.

Cranberry Balsamic Glaze.

  • Melt 1 TBSP of butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the sliced shallot and simmer until softened—about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cranberry sauce and the balsamic vinegar. Whisk it until cohesive and let the mixture simmer until it thickens and becomes slightly syrupy; this should take about a minute. Add 1/4 cup of room temperature water and the brown sugar. Stir well and bring to a rolling boil, then lower the heat. Let the mixture bubble and thicken; about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If you feel the glaze could be more tart, add the fourth TBSP of balsamic vinegar. Transfer the glaze to a serving dish and serve with the turkey.