Foolproof Grilled Turkey Breast with Butter and Herbs

grilled turkey breasts

Years ago we started adding a whole grilled turkey breast along with a whole roasted turkey on Thanksgiving. I have a nice size group with my brother and sister in law, their family and ours, but as time went on we started to realize everyone likes to eat only the white meat. When it came to leftovers for everyone to take home there would hardly be any white meat left, and no one wanted the dark.

So now we have it down to a science, three whole turkey breasts on the grill. For our family it works, the flavor is amazing, everyone loves it and there are plenty of leftovers for everyone, who by the way, always enter my home with to-go containers. Another big bonus to grilling turkey breast is that my oven is freed up for all the delicious sides.

Now this concept might not work for every family. I’ll be the first to admit that a traditional whole roasted turkey looks beautiful when pulled from the oven on Thanksgiving day and I know there are many dark meat lovers out there who look forward to it, but you might want to consider making an extra turkey breast just for leftovers to pass out.

Grilling a whole turkey breast is also great for a smaller group or if you just have a taste for turkey on the grill though out the year. It’s slathered with a garlic herbed butter, it’s so moist and juicy, never drys out and the grilled flavor takes it over the top, what’s not to like?

 

butter and herbs

Just like the song my herbs of choice are parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and of course butter and garlic.foil pans

I buy the deep foil pans like the one on the right, the one on the left is too shallow, and I like to double them for extra stability.turkey breasts

I mix a compound butter with the herbs and garlic but then I like to half melt the already room temperature butter so it’s really soft and I can easily brush it over and under the skin.

grilled turkey breasts

The breasts get propped up in the pan by a ball of heavy duty tin foil that I form and position it underneath the cavity, otherwise the breast will not be stable and fall over. They don’t take long to cook at all, I think max is an hour and fifteen minutes for a six to seven pound breast and you can rest it for an hour tented with foil when its off the grill and it will still be hot.electric knife slice

We love, love, love to use an electric knife, it cuts the turkey like butter. Walk into any thrift store and you’ll find a bunch of them, they were very popular back in the day, not much any more but we use ours every Thanksgiving.sliced turkey breast

This is pure deliciousness and it looks pretty fanned out on your platter!Grilled turkey breast

If you’re wondering about gravy, well I make it a week ahead of time with some turkey wings that I pick up and roast, there are many recipes you can find on the web for make ahead gravy. I love making the gravy ahead of time, no stress, worrying and rushing around to make gravy at the last minute, just heat up and go. There will be drippings in the foil pan which I save or add to my already made gravy or to make more the next day.Thanksgiving

The food most definitely plays a staring role on Thanksgiving Day, but family is really what it’s all about!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Foolproof Grilled Turkey Breast with Butter and Herbs
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 6-7 lb whole bone in, cavity attached, skin on turkey breast
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 very finely chopped and smashed garlic cloves
  • a handful of fresh parsley and sage, chopped
  • a smaller handful of fresh rosemary and thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • boxed low sodium turkey or chicken stock, so pan does not dry out on grill
  • 2 DEEP sided foil pans ( I like to double them for more strength) not the low half size lasagna pans.
Instructions
  1. BUTTER AND HERB MIXTURE
  2. In a bowl add the softened butter, garlic, all the herbs, salt and pepper, mix well together adding more herbs if you so desire.
  3. PREPARING THE TURKEY BREAST
  4. Take out turkey breast from fridge, wash and pat very dry, let it sit out for an hour before prepping it so it's not ice cold.
  5. Salt and pepper the whole bird, gently loosening the skin by sliding your fingers until you reach the end of the breast, be very careful not to tear the skin.
  6. Take some heavy duty foil and scrunch it into a ball and position it in the cavity of the turkey to give it stability in the pan so it doesn't fall over, this will keep it straight and upright.
  7. Slightly melt your butter mixture and brush it all over and under the breast lifting up the skin where you loosened it and slathering it all over.
  8. For a gas grill we keep the temperature heated to around 350 F. consistently, so that will require some constant checking to make sure it's in the zone more or less as close as you can.
  9. Place the doubled pan onto the grill no cover required because you'll be shutting the lid of the grill.
  10. Pour some chicken or turkey stock right into the bottom of the pan about ¼ inch deep, which you'll be checking every 20 minutes so as to not dry out, you want to maintain that ¼ inch dept.
  11. All burners are on because the turkey breast is in a pan and not directly touching the grill.
  12. The turkey is done when it reaches 165 F. in the thickest part of the breast meat using a meat thermometer.
  13. Start checking after 50 minutes depending on size of turkey and your outdoor grill.
  14. When it done remove from grill, tent with foil and let it rest at least ½ hour more more like an hour for easy and smooth slicing.
  15. If you can get yourself an electric knife it's life changing!
  16. Don't forget to have your make ahead gravy ready and warmed.
  17. Save the drippings from the pan for extra gravy the next day or to make soup from the carcass.
  18. I used a gas grill here but same method would work for charcoal grill as well.

 

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Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage and Balsamic Glaze

brussels sprouts and sausage

If brussels sprouts always seem to make an appearance on your holiday table then you’re in for a real treat with this delicious combination. Roasted brussels sprouts tossed together with the flavors of sweet Italian sausage flecked with fennel and spices and adorned with a rich, aged balsamic glaze.

This creation came to me last year by way of a friend and fellow blogger Lori, at Taste With The Eyes and I’ve been making it ever since. I served it for my family last Thanksgiving and I have to say not only does it taste amazing, it makes a gorgeous presentation on the table.brussels sprouts and sausage

Those of you who are on the fence about brussels sprouts I urge you to give this a try, the combination of the Italian sausage and the sweet balsamic glaze helps to cut the slight bitterness of the brussels sprouts, and roasting them heightens the flavor.

brussels sprouts and sausage

The holidays are upon us with Thanksgiving right around the corner get out your prettiest platter and grace your table with this amazing side dish!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage and Balsamic Glaze
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Brussels sprouts, normal to small size
  • Italian sausage, sweet with fennel
  • Good quality balsamic glaze in a squeeze bottle for easy decorating
  • parsley
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice your sprouts in half lengthwise
  3. Toss sprouts with a good drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper
  4. Place onto a rimmed baking sheet cut side down and roast until tender and golden but not overcooked or too deep of a caramelization.
  5. In the meantime remove sausage from casing, place into a skillet on the stove and crumble it into bite size pieces.
  6. Cook sausage until completely done, remove and drain on paper towel.
  7. Toss the roasted sprouts with the cooked sausage, add some chopped parsley and place it all on a beautiful platter preferably with a rim so you can decorate it with the glaze.
  8. When your ready to serve and eat it drizzle some balsamic glaze all over the sprouts and sausage ( go light it's very potent, taste to see if it's to your liking) then decorate the rim of the platter with more of the glaze.
  9. NOTE:
  10. You can make this ahead of time and heat it up, everything EXCEPT the glaze, do that the last minute.
  11. Don't get too hung up about amounts just put it together, it all works!

 

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Butternut, Delicata, and Acorn Squash Gratin with Crispy Sage

winter squash gratin

Today I’m giving you a little inspiration for your Thanksgiving Day table, the holidays are right around the corner, so it’s time to start planning, can you believe it?

This deliciously creamy gratin combines three of my favorite winter squash, butternut, delicata and acorn.

winter squash gratin

They sit nice and pretty in a parmesan and garlic cream sauce and are adorned with crispy sage leaves, you couldn’t ask for a better combination of flavors!

winter squash

Besides tasting over the top amazing,  I love the presentation that happens by using the different squash shapes together.

winter squash

I pre-roasted my squash a little, then layered them into a buttered casserole dish.

winter squash gratin

The cream sauce is made ahead of time then carefully spooned all around the squash slices being careful to leave some squash peeking through, that’s what makes the presentation so pretty.

It’s a show stopper for the holiday season when we’re all allowed to indulge a little!

winter squash gratin

Wouldn’t this be dreamy sitting next to your Turkey this year?

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Butternut, Delicata, and Acorn Squash Gratin with Crispy Sage
 
A winter squash gratin, the perfect side dish for the holiday season or just to impress your guests.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash, neck part only, skin removed, then cut into rounds
  • 1 delicata squash, skin on, then sliced into rings, remove pulp and seeds
  • 1 acorn squash, skin on, remove pulp and seeds, quarter it then make slices,
  • cut all squash about ¼ inch slices, not too thick and not too thin
  • 2 cups, heavy cream
  • 2 handfuls of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 finely grated garlic cloves, done on a microplane
  • ¾ stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage leaves
Instructions
  1. I pre- roasted all the squash just to make sure it wouldn't be hard, on a baking sheet at 400 degrees, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, just until al dente, where it still had a little bite.
  2. After they cool place squash into a buttered 13x9 casserole dish. (these first two steps can be done the day before and refrigerated overnight, before adding cream sauce.) If you do it the day before, take it out and get it to room temp, before adding sauce.
  3. TO MAKE THE CREAM SAUCE:
  4. In a small sauce pan on low flame, add butter and garlic, just until garlic is fragrant, not brown, then add cream, salt and pepper too taste.
  5. Simmer cream sauce just until the edges start to bubble, then turn off the heat and let it set up for a minute.
  6. Add the Parmigiano, stir well, then spoon the cream sauce all around the squash in casserole dish, leaving some of the squash exposed but spreading it all around and in between.
  7. Place casserole dish into a 450 degree oven until bubbly and nicely golden, keep checking.
  8. Garnish with crispy sage leaves, by melting a tablespoon or two of butter in a small pan, when butter is hot throw the leaves in and they will start to sizzle and get crispy, remove immediately.

 

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Last Minute Turkey Day Idea’s

By now most of you have your Thanksgiving Day meal all planned out, but if your still thinking about adding a few more dishes to your table you might want to try some of these idea’s from my archives. Enjoy!
Antipasto platters are always good, this one was actually purchased but you can easily put together your own with a few different things like assorted olives, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, cocktail onions, fresh boccochini balls tossed in pesto, grapes, nuts, and a few other cheese’s of your choice, serve with assorted crackers and some cold wine, this is always a big hit!

What can I say, we love Stuffed Artichokes and they are always present here during the holidays.

You have to have some kind of pasta on the side, no? Homemade Ravioli’s or buy some good Italian deli ones, I won’t tell!

Or how about a Meatball Lasagna, a little extra work making those tiny meatballs, but hey it’s a special day!

Butternut Squash Lasagna, my new favorite addition, you can’t go wrong with this, it’s so Thanksgiving like.

Or how about Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells filled with spinach and ricotta drizzled with a lemon sage butter sauce. Wouldn’t a couple of these look good on your plate sitting right next to your turkey?

Roasted Parmesan Creamed Onions, these are to die for, there’s nothing more to say!

Balsamic Glazed Onions, sweet and delectable little things!

Simple Roasted Carrots elevated up a notch with Shallots, Green Olives and a Gremolata sauce.
Roasted Balsamic Glazed Acorn Squash almost to pretty to eat, almost!

Cauliflower with Red Pepper roasted in olive oil with a crunchy coating of breadcrumbs, grated romano cheese and fresh snipped parsley, always a nice side dish.

And last but not least! I know pumpkin pie is always the star on Thanksgiving Day but how about adding in a
Sweet Ricotta Pie as another choice, it’s dreamy creamy filling of ricotta, chocolate chips, orange and cinnamon will be the perfect ending to your holiday meal.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

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Post Turkey Day Reflections 2009

I hope all of your tummy’s have recovered by now and you’re getting ready for a turkey cranberry cream cheese sandwich from all your leftovers, I know I am. I thought I’d share some highlights from our dinner yesterday.

This gorgeous appetizer came from my daughter via Whole Foods. What a way to start the party!

I decided to try and brine our turkey this year, dry brining appealed to me. I saw Martha do it on her show. 2/3 cup of kosher salt with a few crumbled bay leaves. Rub your turkey down from top to bottom and inside, place in an airtight bag 2 days prior to cooking. Rinse well before cooking.

The result was a super moist tender turkey, we all loved it. Dry brining is my new favorite thing!!

Outside we grilled an additional bone in turkey breast that was rubbed all over with a paste of olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs. Great for that sandwich I’m about to make!

Ooops, I forgot my cranberries and rolls for the photo! I also made stuffing balls with different ingredient variations, great way to serve stuffing, nice portions, and they get crispy all over.

Giada’s lemon ricotta cookies.

This was brought over by a good friend of the family, a homemade Derby Pie, I woke up thinking about how good this pie tasted. Premium chocolate laced in a carmel pecan filling.

Truely decadent, and worth every bite!

In the midst of such a terrible recession with many people falling on hard times, it’s the simple things we’re all thankful for, family, friends, our health, and of course…. food!
Buon Appetito!

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