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Citrus and Herb Roast Turkey Breast

Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

  • Author: Isabelle Boucher (Crumb)
  • Total Time: 10 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x


Scaling back your Thanksgiving dinner? No problem! This simply seasoned turkey breast delivers all the goodness of a traditional roast turkey, but in a fraction of the time. Depending on how many side dishes you're preparing, you should have enough turkey to feed anywhere from four to six guests.


  • 1 bone-in skin-on split turkey breast (~4 lbs)
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp roughly chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp szechuan peppercorns (see Note below)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened


  1. In the bowl of a small food processor, combine salt, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon zest, orange zest, coriander and szechuan peppercorns. Pulse until the herbs and spices are coarsely ground.
  2. Sprinkle the dry brine all over the turkey breast, then transfer to a large zip-top plastic bag. Place in the refrigerator to brine overnight, or up to 24 hours.
  3. An hour before you begin baking the turkey, remove the breast from the bag and place on a small rack set in a small roasting pan or baking dish. Place in the fridge, uncovered, to allow the turkey to dry off. (This will ensure a crispier skin.)
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450F. Remove the turkey breast from the fridge and pat dry. Gently rub the top of the breast with butter.
  5. Roast the turkey in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then drop the temperature to 325F and continue roasting for 1 ½ - 2 hours or until the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165F. (If the skin starts to brown too quickly, tent the turkey loosely with aluminum foil to slow down the process.) Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.


Szechuan peppercorns add a subtle citrusy note to the turkey rub. Look for them in gourmet stores or specialty spice shops, or your local Asian market if you have one. If you can’t find them, though, black peppercorns will do just fine.

  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Main