One Way to Deal with Boneless, Skinless Turkey Breasts

Boneless, skinless turkey breasts: a risk I took at the grocery store this past weekend. How could they possibly come out not dry and rubbery? I did not want to lube them up with butter or bacon, and I did not have ingredients for any half-decent braising liquid. I’m a bit sick of slow cooker food right now and I was too lazy to cut up the meat for a pasta, stew, or soup.

This worked. I marinated the boneless, skinless turkey breasts for several hours using a random concoction of dried spices. I then baked them sandwiched between raw onion slices. The turkey came out moist and flavourful without too much fat added.

Just a few warnings.  Most of the onions are not edible when that burnt, so it is a little bit of a waste. I blackened the pyrex baking dish I own, so a ceramic-coated Dutch oven or using a layer of aluminum foil could have prevented this. Also, I think the turkey would have come out even better if I had brined it instead of using an oil-based marinade.

To summarize, this was good. Great for a night meal with close kin.  A lovely idea for Thanksgiving dinner with only a few people, or for diners who only eat the white meat of the bird and don’t use the carcass for congee like we do in my family.

 

One Way to Deal with Boneless, Skinless Turkey Breasts

Serves: 4-6
Time: overnight + 1.5 h

  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup oil of some sort
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 boneless, skinless turkey breasts
  • 2 onions, sliced into rings
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

 

  1. In some sort of marinade vessel (e.g. a bowl, airtight container, or plastic bag) Mix all spices, herbs, and salt with oil and soy sauce.
  1. Place the breasts in the vessel and use your clean hands to get them coated with the marinade.
  1. Cover with a lid or plastic cling wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4-6 hours.

turkey breast marinaded in herbs spices
The interesting smell of this excites me.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F / 176 °C and have the middle rack ready.
  1. Lightly grease or spray a baking dish.
  1. Lay down one onion’s worth of slices and the garlic cloves.
  1. Place the breasts on top of the onion and garlic. I was left with very little marinade and simply disposed of it.
  1. Spread the rest of the onion slices on top of the breasts.

turkey breasts to bake with onions garlic
Certainly not a waterproof seal, but I like to believe it bastes a bit during cooking.

  1. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  1. Use a meat thermometer to check up on the turkey breasts. As recommended by the US FDA, the thickest part of the breast should be 165 °F / 74 °C.
  1. If the meat is not yet cooked, put it back in for another 15 min and check again. Repeat using your best judgement until the meat is barely done.
  1. Turn off the oven and remove the baking dish from it. Let the meat rest for… I don’t know, at least 10 min.

good turkey but burnt dish
That is pretty black.  But trust me, the turkey is perfect.

  1. Serve slices of the turkey breast with your choice of sides. I don’t recommend eating the onions and garlic if they are charred.

 

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