Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

So by now you may have heard about our small time Thanksgiving tradition of having Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf instead of a whole turkey. It’s a much more practical approach when you’re only feeding a few people, but beyond that, it’s absolutely delicious. I actually prefer it to a traditional turkey, and now I look forward to eating turkey meatloaf every year. 

But maybe you’re not quite ready to be so untraditional. Maybe you can’t imagine Thanksgiving without white meat covered in gravy. Maybe you want a beautiful centerpiece of a gorgeously roasted bird on your Thanksgiving table. Maybe you’re looking for a turkey recipe that makes just the right amount for a small family of four to six people that’s perfectly seasoned and never dry. A turkey recipe that’s pretty much foolproof that makes plenty of flavorful gravy. This is that.

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This brined and roasted turkey breast with herb gravy is super simple. Since you’re only cooking the breast of the turkey, it usually cooks in less than three hours. Mine was two kilos, and it was done in two hours and 20 minutes. If you eat later in the day, you could even brine it in the morning. And in case you were thinking of skipping the brine, I strongly urge you to avoid that notion. Brining is absolutely key to ensuring a moist and well-seasoned turkey breast.

The gravy comes together quickly and easily as well. The trick is to smash the flour and butter together into a paste so you won’t have any lumps. The fresh herbs will make your gravy seem all sophisticated and junk. Your family’s gonna love it.

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I made this recipe for the first ever Thanksgiving dinner I made myself. I was so nervous, but it came out beautiful, and has done every time since. I hope it works as well for you.

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy
Serves 6
Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy is moist and flavorful every time. I promise, you can't mess it up.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr 20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr 20 min
For the turkey
  1. 8 cups water
  2. 1/2 cup salt, plus a few pinches for seasoning
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 medium turkey crown (breast)
  5. 4 ounces butter, melted
  6. Ground black pepper
For the gravy
  1. 1 shallot, minced
  2. 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peels
  3. Leaves of 1 sprig of rosemary, minced
  4. Leaves of 1 sprig of thyme, minced
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. Ground black pepper
  8. 1.5 ounces butter
  9. 3 tablespoons plain flour
  10. 4 cups low sodium chicken or turkey stock
For the turkey
  1. To make your brine, add the water, salt, and brown sugar to a large pot. Choose something that will allow your turkey breast to be completely submerged. Heat the water and stir until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to come back to room temperature. Putting a cold turkey in hot brine is like creating a bacteria factory.
  2. Completely submerge your turkey in the brine, clamp a lid on, and refrigerate the whole thing for 4 to 8 hours.
  3. When your ready to roast, remove your turkey from the brine, and discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry with a few paper towels.
  4. Preheat your oven to 325.
  5. Situate your turkey breast in your roasting pan. Brush your melted butter all over your turkey and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast your turkey for approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 170. My turkey breast's packaging conveniently had a suggested cooking time that turned out to be perfect, so check your package.
  7. Once your turkey is cooked through, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board. I used a couple of pairs of tongs for this. Cover loosely in foil. Let it rest while you make the gravy.
For the gravy
  1. Pour the liquid from the pan into a bowl or measuring jug. Allow it to sit while you prep the rest f your gravy ingredients so that the fat and liquid start to separate.
  2. Get everything for your gravy ready before you put anything on the heat so that you can move easily from step to step. Put your shallot, garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay salt, and pepper into a small dish together. In another dish, use a fork to smash your butter and flour together into a paste.
  3. Add two tablespoons of the fat that's risen to the top of your separated pan drippings back into your roasting pan. Pour or spoon off the rest of the fat so that you can add the flavorful liquid to the stock later.
  4. Situate the roasting pan over two burners, and turn them both to medium. Add your shallot and herb mixture to the roasting pan and sautee for about three minutes to soften the shallot.
  5. Add the stock and any remaining turkey juices back into the roasting pan. Scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring the stock to a boil.
  6. Whisk in your butter and flour mixture. Boil until the sauce thickens about 5 minutes.
  7. Give it a taste and adjust your seasoning if need be. Pull out the bay leaf and garlic cloves before serving.
Adapted from Food Network
Adapted from Food Network
Awesome in October
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18 Awesome Ways to Eat Potatoes

18 Awesome Ways to Eat Potatoes

18 Awesome Ways to Eat Potatoes

It might be National Potato Day, but even if the internet is lying to me, I want to give you any excuse to eat potatoes. I know we’re not supposed to be eating carbs or whatever, but I super don’t care about that. Potatoes are s versatile and so delicious. Oh, and so cheap. So here are 18 different recipes that will bring potatoes into your life in a most delicious way.

This Cheesy Potato Soup is absolutely unbelievable.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad is going to be your new go to pot luck recipe. 

Spicy Potato Cakes are a genius way to use up leftover mashed potatoes the next morning.

Breakfast Nachos are a solid way to start your day.

Put your entire meal in some tasty pastry with Cornish Pasties

Spanish Chicken and Chorizo Bake is a simple and awesome week night meal.

Potatoes are loved around the world. Try this Potato and Spinach Curry fr a whole new flavor profile.

This Breakfast Burger has everything, including a crispy hash brown.

Dill Potato Salad is the perfect side dish on a hot summer day. 

Twice Baked Potatoes are a meal unto themselves.

Rosemary Potato Rolls always make it onto my Thanksgiving table.

The potatoes might be my favorite part of Sky High Breakfast Pizza.

Ridiculously Awesome Mashed Potatoes appear with my dinner on a regular basis. 

Indian Spiced Pea and Potato Wraps are like an Indian burrito for potato lovers.

Ham and Potato Soup is just what you need on a cold winter night.

Chicken Corn Chowder has all the flavor.

Chili with Gnocchi makes a pot of chili extra awesome by adding soft potato dumplings. 

If you want roasted potatoes with your meal, but you also want to eat right now, Parmesan Fried Gnocchi will make all your dreams come true.

Morning, noon, or night, I’m never saying no to a potato.

Cheesy Potato Soup | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheesy Potato Soup

Cheesy Potato Soup | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

The first time I made this soup, I was extremely skeptical throughout the entire process. I don’t know quite what it was, but I just didn’t have confidence that it would turn out right. I was apologizing before I served it just in case.

See, people who don’t cook much think that anyone who can cook can automatically make perfect food all the time? Friends assume I would be amazing on Bake Off or Master Chef. They have no idea how hard that type of cooking and baking actually is. They also have no idea how many times my kitchen experiments fail.

This soup, though, is decidedly not a failure. It might even be a kitchen triumph. This Cheesy Potato Soup is stupid awesome. Like swoon-worthy. It’s quite rich, so only give yourself a small bowl. You’ve got to plan ahead for this because once you start eating it, you won’t want to stop. 

Cheesy Potato Soup | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Usually I try to trust my instincts in the kitchen, but they were way off base here. This soup is where it’s at, kids. You absolutely must try it.

Cheesy Potato Soup
Serves 4
Cheesy Potato Soup is rich, cheesy, and impossible to stop eating.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 8 ounces smoked streaky bacon
  2. 1/2 onion, peeled
  3. 1 stalk of celery
  4. 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  5. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  6. 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  7. 1-1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  8. 1 teaspoon paprika
  9. 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  10. 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  11. 1-1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
  12. 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  13. 1/2 cup milk
  14. 1/2 cup cream (or replace milk and cream with one cup half and half if you can get it)
  15. Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste (I didn't need to add any extra salt, so definitely actually taste it)
  16. 1 green onion, chopped
  1. Put a soup pt over medium heat, and scissor your bacon into it. Cook until your bacon pieces are crispy, then remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. If your bacon has given up quite a lot of fat, you may want to spoon some out until you have only a couple of tablespoons left in your pot.
  2. While your bacon is cooking, roughly chop your onion and celery so that they'll fit into your food processor. Toss in the garlic clove and pulse until you have itty bitty bits of vegetables. Once your bacon is out of the pot, add about a cup of your blitzed vegetables into the hot pot. Give them a good stir and cook until they're softened, about five minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over your vegetable mixture, and give it a good stir. Let it cook for a minute or two to get rid of the raw flour flavor.
  4. Next add your potatoes, mustard powder, and paprika. Stir to make sure everything is combined and your potatoes are coated in the spices.
  5. Add the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to the pot. Your potatoes will be just barely covered. Bring this up to a bubble, then lower your heat to low, put the lid on your pot with just a crack to let some of the steam escape, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  6. Once your potatoes are soft, give them a quick mash. I like this soup with a bit of texture. The more mashing you do, the smoother it will be, obviously.
  7. Stir in the cheese, milk, and cream and let it cook while stirring for a minute or two until the cheese is melted.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat, taste for seasoning, and add some pepper and cayenne, as well as salt if you think you need it.
  9. Add your soup to the bowl, then sprinkle on some of the crispy bacon, and scissor some green onion over the top. Try not to eat the whole pot by yourself.
Adapted from Popular Pinterest Recipes
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