Inspiration: Every year on Thanksgiving, Brandon and I visit our families and share in a couple of fabulous meals prepared by my Mom and by his Mom and Grandma. We’re a couple of lucky, lucky people to be so fortunate to have two Thanksgiving meals prepared for us, and I really do love taking the day to do nothing but appreciate just how much I have to be thankful for. It’s my favorite day of the year, and those meals that our Moms prepare are absolutely my very favorite meals of the year. Being one who loves to cook, though, I just can’t resist making some sort of Thanksgiving meal for just Brandon and I a little bit before Thanksgiving Day. This year, I decided to go for a Mexican-inspired meal by putting a Mexican spin on some standard Thanksgiving dishes. I ended up making this roasted turkey breast with a dry rub using Mexican spices, a cranberry salsa, brussel sprouts cooked with chorizo, and a butternut squash/poblano gratin. I’ll be posting the rest of the recipes in the coming weeks, but for now, I just want to wish everyone who might be reading my little blog a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope that all of your days are beautiful ones.
What We Loved: I’ve never cooked a lone turkey breast before, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this recipe. Initially, I was a little bit worried about two things – first, I was worried that the meat would be dry when it was done since it was all breast meat, and secondly, I was worried that the flavor would be a little bit bland since the spice combination wasn’t very complex. But the reviews for the recipe were excellent, so I forged ahead, and it turned out that both of my worries were completely unfounded. The meat was insanely moist and succulent on the inside, and the outside had this fabulous, crunchy crust. I really packed the spices onto the outside of the turkey because I wanted that nice crust, and I was so pleased with the end result. The flavor of the seasoning mix was very similar to what you’d find in any number of Mexican dishes (a lot like taco seasoning), with chili powder and cumin being the dominate spices. With that spicy, crusty outside and a super moist inside, I really thought that this recipe was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Tips: As I mentioned above, I packed a lot of seasoning onto my turkey breast because I wanted a nice crust. I used a 2.8 pound turkey breast and just patted on as much seasoning as I needed to cover it completely. I actually ended up mixing up a second little batch of seasoning because I initially ran out. I’ll list the amounts for my initial batch below, but I’d really recommend doing the same as I did and mixing up more seasoning if necessary. The crust is truly lovely. And if you’re looking for a nice beverage to pair with your meal, we enjoyed this supper with a couple of New Holland Ichabod pumpkin ales that we’ve been saving in the back of the fridge since before Halloween. Perfect.
Roasted Turkey Breast with Zesty Dry Rub
Source: Adapted from Food Network, originally from Family Circle Magazine
For the Turkey
1 boneless turkey breast (mine was about 3 lbs)
Lime juice from 1/2 lime
For The Dry Rub
1-2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Rub the turkey breast on all sides with olive oil and lime juice.
2. Mix together the dry rub in a small bowl, and rub it all over the turkey breast. Mix up more dry rub if necessary to cover the entire breast.
3. Roast the turkey in the oven at 350 degrees F until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F, about one to one and a half hours for a 3 pound turkey breast.
4. Let the turkey rest for 10 minutes before carving.