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Honey and Thyme-Brined Turkey Breast

This is an absolute joy!  From one of my favorite chefs, Bruce Aidells, comes this recipe for the tastiest turkey I've ever eaten.  The secret to the wonderful flavor, as well as the tender, juicy meat, lies in the brining, that magical process that transforms even great cuts of poultry and pork into masterpieces.

1 5-7 pound fresh turkey breast
2 recipes slow brine solution (substituting cup of brown sugar for the white sugar called for in the recipe)
6 fresh sprigs thyme
cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons black pepper, divided

Pour 1 cup of the brining solution in to a saucepan along with 2 tablespoons of the pepper and the thyme sprigs.  Heat to a boil to release the flavors of the thyme and pepper then set aside to cool.  When the solution is cooled to room temperature (which can be accelerated by adding some ice cubes) add back to the brine along with the honey.  Mix well.

To brine the turkey breast place the bird into a large zip-top baggie and fill with the bringing solution.  Seal the baggie and place in the fridge, and allow to brine overnight, turning the baggie occasionally.  About 1 hour before you are ready roast the bird discard the brine, rinse the turkey breast thoroughly, and dry with paper towels.  Rub the turkey with oil.  Combine the remaining black pepper and dried thyme and rub over the turkey breast.  Begin heating the oven to 400.

Place the bird on a roasting pan coated with cooking spray.  Roast until the internal temperature, at the thickest part of the breast, registers 180 (in my range this takes about 2 hours.)  Place turkey on a carving board, cover loosely with foil and allow to stand about 20 minutes before carving.




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