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Roast Turkey for Two: Doable and Delicious

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Roast Turkey

Roast Turkey

Copyright 2008 Kevin D Weeks
Even a small turkey breast is a lot of turkey for two people. My approach is to buy a whole small breast, thaw it, then cut it in half and refreeze half for later. Half a breast is not only enough for dinner for two, but enough for a few turkey sandwiches later. I also like to brine the breast, which produces a moister and more flavorful result - especially if you flavor the brine as I do in the recipe below. (Larger image.) Serves 2 with leftovers.

Prep Time: 6 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 7 hours


  • *** Brine ***
  • 1 gal. apple cider
  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage or 1 Tbsp. rubbed sage
  • 1 sm. onion; chopped
  • 5 peppercorns
  • *** Turkey ***
  • 1/2 bone-in turkey breast*
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper


1. Combine all brine ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve salt.

2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

3. Six hours before cooking, submerge the turkey in the brine refrigerate for 6 hours. Alternatively, you can brine the breast a day or two in advance, then remove from the brine, rinse, pat dry, and store in a sealed container until ready to cook.

4. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter with sage.

5. Brush breast with butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Cook breast for about 45 minutes until an instant-read thermometer** inserted in the center of the breast reads 160 degrees.

7. Remove from oven and tent with foil. Rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

*Note 1: You may be able to get your butcher to cut the breast in half. Don't use a breast that is self-basting or Kosher as they have already been brined.

**Note 2: I can't emphasize enough the value of an instant-read thermometer (compare prices) when roasting any kind of meat. Oven sensors are notoriously inaccurate and variable, so relying on time to determine doneness is completely undependable - and those pop-up thermometers will always overcook the bird.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Loved it!!, Member gilfed

I used a 6lb whole turkey breast w/bone in. For the sage I substituted (1/2 tsp.) poultry seasoning and it worked. It was the best, moist, turkey we had ever had!and so Easy! Took about 1:15 hrs and had plenty left for another meal plus sandwiches. Watch it carefully as with the higher temperature the skin can get too dark but we just peeled it off and the turkey was fine. I tented it with foil the last 15 minutes. Enjoyed!! Would serve 4 easily.

20 out of 21 people found this helpful.

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