A dish of slow-cooked turkey breast is a sure way to add excitement to a table when needed. Turkey breasts offer you the same delicious experience you expect from the poultry without the hassle of preparing the entire bird. And when you use a crockpot, you enjoy convenience in cooking, as you don’t need to marinate the meat. The slow cooker doesn’t cause the meat to dry up at a low setting, so you’ll end up with a moist and juicy turkey breast you can easily carve and chew.
Selecting the Turkey Breast
You can choose between the bone-in and the boneless turkey breast options. The bone-in turkey breasts may take a slightly longer time to cook, so most times, the boneless is most convenient. You can also leave the skin on the turkey breast if you consider taking it off to be a hassle. And if you feel cutting the turkey breast off a whole bird may be too much work, simply by pre-cut options at the market or grocery store.
Also, consider the size of the turkey breast when you’re selecting because it determines how many people you can serve. As a rule, you should plan about a pound per person to be safe.
Seasoning the Turkey Breast
Mix a blend of spices and herbs into a paste and coat it all over the turkey breasts. The combination of savory and sweet fuses with the meat and enhances the flavor. You can mix paprika, thyme, pepper, salt, garlic powder, and olive oil to make this paste. Then, you slather it all over the turkey breast before placing it into the crockpot.
If you want the turkey breast to absorb the flavors from the spices and seasonings quickly, you can brine it beforehand. You’ll not only get more enhancements in the taste of the meat but also an extra dose of juiciness is guaranteed.
Preparing the Crock Pot
Check to make sure your crockpot can comfortably house the size of your turkey breast. It would be best if you used a slow cooker that’s at least three times the size of your turkey breast to spread the cooking pressure evenly.
You should add a layer of vegetables and herbs at the bottom of the crockpot before adding the turkey. Do this according to your preference, or you can consider using onions, garlic cloves, carrots, and rosemary.
Once you’ve added all you need, cover the crockpot and set it to LOW. This setting will cause the turkey breast to cook for a longer time, but that’s what you need if you want the meat to be juicy and tender.
For an average 2-pound breast, you’ll need to leave it for about 3 hours. If the breast is bigger or smaller, adjust the cooking time accordingly to accommodate the size. Regardless of how much time it takes you to cook the turkey breast, you’ll need to target an internal doneness temperature of 160°F.
Do I Need to Broil the Turkey Breast?
Even though your turkey breast is ready, you may still need to broil it in an oven before you serve. Through this process, your turkey breast will come out with a rich deep golden brown color, plus extra crisp. And since broiling doesn’t take so much time or effort, it’s not such a bad idea to consider.
What about Turkey Gravy?
After taking out your turkey breast from the crockpot, you’re left with a liquid mixture of the turkey juices and the essence of the layered vegetables. This fluid is what you’ll need to make a lip-smacking bowl of gravy, so it’s gold! Just strain it out and keep it aside for this purpose.
- 2 pounds turkey breasts, boneless, patted dry, with skin
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, extra-virgin
- 1 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup chicken broth, unsalted
- 5 cloves garlic, roughly diced
- 1 cup yellow onion, roughly diced
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 2 tablespoons flour, all-purpose
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Kosher salt
- Mix the spices with olive oil and add salt to taste. Spread the mixture all over the turkey breast.
- Spread the vegetables and herbs at the bottom of the crockpot. Place the turkey breast on top of the vegetables and cover the slow cooker.
- Set the crockpot to LOW for about 3 hours. Allow to cook for 2 1/2 hours and check the internal temperature of the breast. Finish cooking when the breast reaches internal doneness of 160°F.
- Put the cooked turkey breast in a sheet pan laced with foil. Then, set in the oven and broil for about 7 minutes to brown the skin. Take it out and leave it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Strain the fluid from the crockpot into a cup. Put a pan over medium heat fire and melt the butter. Whisk the flour in to make a pale roux, and then switch heat to medium-high.
- Slowly whisk in the turkey juice, followed by as much needed chicken stock, and stir until it reaches preferred consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with slices of turkey breast.
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