Boned turkey breasts are reasonably priced and unbelievably versatile, and yet I don't think many cooks take advantage of this delicious cut. Since my local supermarket often runs specials on turkey breasts, I've learned to use them creatively. In the following recipe, a boned breast is rubbed with a smoky chili mix, and then wrapped in bacon strips. As the breast roasts, the bacon bastes the meat and keeps it moist.
- One 2-lb boneless turkey breast half, skin and any excess fat removed
- 1 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 slices bacon/streaky bacon
- I/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp minced cilantro/fresh coriander
Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the turkey breast on a work surface. If it has been rolled and tied, untie it. In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, cumin, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Rub half of this mixture over the inside surface, turn the breast over, and rub the remaining mixture over the other side. Roll the breast tightly into a cylinder (about 9 in long and 3 1/4 in in diameter) and tie at l-in intervals with twine.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the turkey breast and brown on all sides, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the turkey breast from the frying pan and let it cool for 5 minutes.
On a clean work surface, lay the bacon slices, slightly overlapping, side by side. Place the turkey breast seam-side up in the center and wrap the bacon slices around the breast so that they overlap. Transfer the breast (with overlapping bacon-side down) to a rack set in a large flameproof roasting pan/tray. (The turkey breast can be prepared 6 hours ahead; cover the pan with plastic wrap/cling film and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before roasting.)
Roast the breast until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 170°F, for about 1 hour, 15 minutes, or longer. Remove the breast from the pan and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Skim off and discard any fat in the pan. Place the pan over medium heat and add the broth. Whisk constantly, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan into the liquids. Whisk in the lime juice and season with salt if needed. The sauce will be very thin, but flavorful.
To serve, cut the turkey breast through the bacon (which will be completely cooked) into slices 1/2 in thick, carefully discarding the strings as you slice. Arrange the slices slightly overlapping on a platter and drizzle with the pan sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro/fresh coriander and serve with a bowl of salsa.
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