The other day I picked up a turkey breast half from the grocery store, prepared to create a delicious and hearty meal. I finally got around to making it tonight. I took the veggies I had leftover from last week's CSA (the ones that would roast well, anyway), and tossed them with some oil and salt in the roasting pan. I prepared the turkey breast with some improvised seasoning and put it on top on a rack. I roasted it. The end.
Well, almost the end. Add in a simple pan gravy and a very happy tummy. This is an easy way to evoke the flavors of everyone's favorite annual meal any time of year. The kale, beets, and sweet potatoes roast beautifully in the turkey drippings and take on an incredible depth of flavor they never knew they had in them.
This could be a special occasion meal, or even a simple Friday night with the family meal. You make the choice.
A note: get the turkey breast out of the fridge at least half an hour (but no longer than two hours) before you are going to cook it.
Roast Turkey Breast with Kale, Sweet Potatoes, and Beets
1 bunch of kale, tough stems and ribs removed, coarsely chopped
2 large beets, trimmed, peeled, and quartered
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 skin-on, bone-in turkey breast half, about 2.5 pounds
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon flour
1. Preheat the oven to 450. Take a small roasting pan with a rack, remove the rack, and place the kale, beets, sweet potato, and garlic in the pan. Toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Push the veggies to the perimeter of the pan to make room for the rack, and place the rack back in the pan.
2. Rinse and pat dry the turkey breast. Season both sides fairly generously with salt, tucking some under the skin with your fingers. Place the turkey breast on the roasting rack over the vegetables and drizzle it with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Rub the oil over the breast with your hands, and tuck some under the skin. Season the turkey with the poultry seasoning and lemon zest, tucking some under the skin.
3. Place the roasting rack in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 400, then cook for another 20-30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast reads 165. Remove from the oven, and transfer the rack with the turkey on it to a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes.
4. Transfer the vegetables to a casserole or serving dish while the turkey breast rests. Place the roasting pan with the turkey drippings on the stove over medium heat. Add the broth, and whisk the flour in, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until a nice brown gravy forms.
5. Carve the turkey breast and serve sliced and drizzled with gravy, with the veggies alongside.