HERBED SMOKE-ROASTED TURKEY BREAST
Smaller families—especially those that prefer white meat—appreciate the convenience of turkey breast over a whole turkey. To keep it moist, we like to brine it for several hours first, assuming it has not already been injected with a solution or koshered. But you can skip this step if you want to. The herbed butter you slip under the skin before roasting will keep it juicy.
- For the brine:
- One 6 to 7 pound bone-in, skin-on turkey breast, thawed if previously frozen
- 4 quarts cold water
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- For the herbed butter:
- 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh herbs, a mix of parsley, sage, rosemary, and marjoram or oregano, plus extra sprigs for garnish
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Remove any excess gobbets of fat from the turkey breast. In a large stockpot or other food-safe container, combine the water, kosher salt, and brown sugar, and stir until the salt and sugar crystals dissolve.
Add the turkey to the brine and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours, or overnight. If necessary, weight with a bag of ice to keep the turkey submerged.
Drain and pat dry with paper towels; discard the brine. Put the turkey breast on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pan.
In the meantime, make the herb butter: In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine the butter, chopped herbs, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 325 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Gently work your fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon under the skin on the breast to loosen it from the meat. Insert 2 tablespoons of herb butter under the skin on each side of the breastbone, massaging it with your fingers to distribute it evenly and push out any pockets of air. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of herb butter in the microwave using medium-low heat. Brush the outside of the turkey breast with some of the melted butter.
Roast the turkey for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, or until the turkey is golden brown and the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh is 165 degrees F. (Use an instant-read meat thermometer.) Baste with the remaining butter after 1-1/2 hours. Let the turkey breast rest for 15 minutes before carving. Garnish, if desired, with sprigs of fresh herbs.