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Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast

I LOVE turkey!  Love, Love, LOVE it!  It’s one of my very favorite foods!  And I can have it without blowing a zillion points on it too!  It’s very lean and healthy so there’s no guilt! 

Turkey was on the Sunday lunch menu at my house today.  I’m always looking for new ways to make turkey because the possibilities are just ENDLESS!

The ankle biters were out of school on Friday so we took a little road trip to Nashville.  I brought home some fresh herbs to plant.  One of those herbs was thyme.  I adore thyme!  Especially paired with lemon.  Those two flavors compliment each other so well!  So that’s what I decided to put on my turkey today.

Here’s how I started:

Lemon Thyme Turkey 1

The ingredients are fairly simple.  I started with salt and pepper.  I used sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, but if you don’t have those, plain ole table salt and pepper work just fine!  I just prefer sea salt because it’s not quite as salty as the boxed iodized salt is.  And fresh cracked pepper is just the bomb dot com!  No two ways about that.  If you like pepper, get yourself a pepper grinder!  Trust me!  You’ll never regret it!  It doesn’t have to be fancy!  The one in my picture came from Sam’s and is “disposable.”  I do have a “real” one that you can refill.  But I actually like the one from Sam’s best because I can get a much more coarse grind with it than I can my “real” one.  And for recipes like this, I want a very coarse grind.

I used about 2 tablespoons of salt and probably a tablespoon of pepper.  I didn’t measure because I rarely do unless I’m using someone else’s recipe.  Dump those in a bowl like this:

Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast 2

Next, I pressed about 6 cloves of garlic in with the salt and pepper.

Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast 3

You can smash and chop the garlic yourself, but for dishes like this, I want the garlic very tiny.  I can never seem to chop it fine enough for something like this, but if you don’t mind larger pieces of garlic, by all means, just chop it.  If you don’t have a garlic press, I HIGHLY recommend one!  I really love mine!  Mine came from Pampered Chef.  But you can get one at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Linens & Things, etc.  You don’t even have to peel the garlic if you put it through a press!  The press does that work for you!  I love having work done for me.  Don’t you???

Next, I zested 2 lemons:

Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast 4

I think I’ve already mentioned how much I love my zester!  But in case you missed that particular post……..I LOVE my zester!  You really want to use a fairly small zester for this type of job.  You want very tiny pieces of zest, not the long strings of zest.  And be sure when you zest citrus to just take the top layer off.  If you get down into the white part called “pith,” it’s going to be bitter.  That top layer has all the essential oils from the fruit and gives fantastic flavor to whatever you use the zest in! 

Next, chop up your fresh thyme and add it into the bowl:

 Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast 5

If you don’t have any fresh thyme, dried will work fine.  Remember that fresh herbs aren’t as potent as the dried.  So if you use a tablespoon of dried herbs in the place of a tablespoon of fresh, you’re probably going to wreck your recipe.  For this recipe, I would guestimate that I used about 1/4 cup of fresh thyme.  Fresh herbs are relatively easy to grow.  If you’ve never cooked with the fresh stuff, you don’t know what you’re missing!  I promise!  Growing my own herbs changed my LIFE, man!  Truly!  They’re very easy to grow and SOOOOOOOOOO worth the time. 

It looks a little something like this:

Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast 6

Add the juice of the 2 lemons you zested and you’re ready to roll!

I like to lift the skin on the turkey breast and then put my rub under the skin and on top of the skin.  It’s a rather yucky job, but you won’t regret putting your rub directly onto the breast of the bird!  It will make the turkey have much more flavor than just putting the rub directly on the skin.

Be careful as you tear the skin loose to not actually tear it off.  Leave it intact around the edges so it will hold your rub in place.  See how there’s a small corner still left intact here?:

Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast 7

Then add the rub:

Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast 8

Use about a third of the rub on each side of the breast, then the final third on the outside of the skin.

Your turkey will look like this when it’s ready to go in the oven:

Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast 9

Now cover Mr. Turkey with foil and put him into a preheated 350° oven.  I roasted this turkey about 4 hours.  Roasting time will completely depend on the size of your turkey breast.  Just be careful not to overcook!  Overcooked turkey is NOT groovy!

I truly meant to take a picture when I took the turkey out of the oven, but these folks around here were a lot more concerned with eating it than with me taking pictures of it.  So I didn’t manage to get a finished photo for you all. 

We sure enjoyed it at our house!  If you decide to make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  Don’t be afraid to change up your flavors!  This would be equally good with lemon and rosemary, orange and ginger, a Cajun spice rub, etc.  Use whatever flavors you and your family like.  Don’t be afraid to change up flavors and try new things! 

OK, I’m off to go play baseball in the front yard with a couple little blonde ankle biters.  Baseball season is nearly here and I love baseball almost as much as I love food! 

Much love and many good eats to you!  No go eat something fabulous and report back what it was!  See you tomorrow!


One Response

  1. […] Lemon Thyme Turkey Breast « What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’? […]

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