Nov 17, 2020

Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast for Two

Prep Time: 1 d
Cook Time: 45 mins
Thanksgiving gatherings are more intimate due to the current climate with COVID. This year I, like so many others, am changing my travel plans and keeping things more low key.

Rather than making a 15 or 20 pound turkey for just a few people, a turkey breast is perfect for just two people. Easily brine two turkey breasts and double the recipe for a family of four. For more Thanksgiving recipes check out my roundup here.

Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast for Two

Why Brine Turkey?

When the turkey is brined in advance, the meat absorbs the extra liquid and salt and results in a much juicier and flavorful meat. This method is great for a leaner meat like turkey breast which tends to dry out fairly easily, since it’s similar to the white meat of a chicken breast while the cider gives it a great flavor.

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Turkey breasts – Turkey breasts are great when cooking for only a few people. If using a frozen turkey breast be sure its fully thawed before brining and cooking it. Adding turkey to a brine prior to cooking makes it much more flavorful!
  • Apple cider – Apple cider isn’t just for sweet desserts and donuts. It adds fall-inspired flavors packed in an easy brine. Look for natural, unfiltered cider.
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How to Cook a Turkey Breast

  1. Make the brine. In a large saucepan bring the apple cider, salt, allspice and bay leaves to a boil, stirring until the salt has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3 cups of cold water. Move the brine to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the turkey to the brine. Let the brine cool completely then add the turkey breast and submerge, adding a plate on top to weigh it down. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Heat oven. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  4. Dry the turkey. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry, discarding the brine. Add the turkey to a roasting pan then use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the meat.
  5. Add butter under the skin. Slide the slices of butter under the skin. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast the turkey. Roast the turkey breast until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF, about 45 minutes. If it needs more time continue to check the temperature every 10 minutes.
  7. Let sit and serve. Remove the turkey from the oven to a cutting board, cover and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve hot or at room temperature.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • You can use this brine recipe to cook a whole turkey.
  • If you can’t find apple cider, swap with apple juice.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled for a family of four.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast for 2

Print Pin
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 45 mins
Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups apple cider
  • ½ cup kosher salt, plus additional as needed, divided
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 (2 to 3-pound) boneless, skin-on turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into slices
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Instructions:

  • In a large saucepan bring the apple cider, salt, allspice and bay leaves to a boil, stirring until the salt has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add 3 cups of cold water. Move the brine to a large mixing bowl.
  • Let the brine cool completely then add the turkey breast and submerge, adding a plate on top to weigh it down. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat oven to 375ºF.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry, discarding the brine. Add the turkey to a roasting pan then use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the meat.
  • Slide the slices of butter under the skin. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast the turkey breast until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF, about 45 minutes. If it needs more time continue to check the temperature every 10 minutes.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven to a cutting board, cover and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve hot or at room temperature.

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