Herb-Orange Turkey Breast with Roasted Pear Gravy
A bright and savory way to enjoy a Thanksgiving turkey from Aida Mollenkamp for Biggest Loser.
Yield: 24-26 4oz servings
At the heart of every Thanksgiving meal are some of the healthiest and most wholesome foods. Sweet potatoes, cranberries, green beans, pumpkin, and even the turkey become fodder for a calorie-fest when we smother them in sugar, butter, and even marshmallows. Chef Aida Mollenkamp has taken our favorite traditional recipes and made them over for Biggest Loser, giving us all the seasonal flavors we love without the fat and calories we won't even miss.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins to 1 hr 45 mins
- 4 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 2 (3 to 4 pound) bone-in skin-on turkey breast halves (see note)
- 8 medium garlic cloves, quartered
- Zest from 2 oranges
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 20 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced, divided
- 4 tsp olive oil, divided
- 1 cup fat free low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth or water
- 5 medium ripe pears, halved and pitted
- 2 medium yellow onions, quartered
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp orange juice
Serve with Roasted Pear Gravy
Heat oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle. Remove skin from turkey if it has not yet been removed (see note below for tips) then pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle half (2 teaspoons) of kosher salt all over two turkey breast halves.
Place garlic, orange zest, half of the thyme, half of the sage, and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper on a cutting board and sprinkle remaining kosher 2 teaspoons of the salt on top. Chop until mixture is a rough paste (it should resemble cornmeal). Drizzle turkeys all over with half (2 teaspoons) of the oil, rub with the paste, and let sit at room temperature while the oven heats up, about 30 minutes.
Arrange turkey breast side up in a roasting pan fitted with a rack and pour broth in the bottom of the roasting pan. Toss onions and pears with remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, season with a pinch kosher salt and pepper, and arrange in bottom of the roasting pan. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and roast until internal temperature of turkey reaches 140 degrees F, about 1 hour 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place honey and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as it boils and set aside.
Remove foil, raise oven to 400 degrees F and brush turkey liberally with the honey glaze. Roast until glaze is golden and turkey is 160 degrees F to 165 degrees F, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove turkey from oven, sprinkle with remaining fresh thyme and sage, a pinch of kosher salt, and let turkey rest at least 10 minutes before carving. Reserve pears and onions for the gravy.
Note: Bone-in turkey breasts are less common (you may have to special order them) than boneless but they are worth seeking out because they have a nicer presentation and the bone lends more flavor to the final dish and helps protect against overcooking the meat. They are usually sold with the skin on, so use a paper towel to pull of the skin and discard before roasting. If you can’t find bone-in turkey breasts, you can use boneless, skinless but look for one that doesn’t have added brine or water solution as they’ll be loaded with salt.
Source: Chef Aida Mollenkamp for The Biggest Loser. Nutrition analysis by Cheryl Forberg, RD for The Biggest Loser. Photography by Christopher Kalima.