Thanksgiving can be a crazy time of the year. The last thing you want to do is be overwhelmed because everything has to bake in the oven at the same time on your special day. Or worst off, your oven is so small that you can’t possibly get everything done in time for a hot meal. Well I have a solution for you, it’s slow cooker turkey breast! This slow cooker turkey breast only uses turkey breast and not the entire bird, so it’s all white meat. Most slow cookers are not big enough to house an entire bird, so the breast is the perfect solution.
Turkey Breast Brine
My holiday tradition has always been to brine the turkey. There is something magical that happens to the turkey when you brine it. It stays juicy. The meat is more tender and everyone always raves on the results. I am a vegetarian. That does not mean that I won’t make a turkey for my guest. I just don’t get to taste it. I’ve gotten really honest feedback (aka I was asked to make the turkey again). The brine is from Alton Brown on the Food Network. You can find it here. If you are planning on making turkey in the oven, I have used this entire recipe every year and it’s always been a winner! I highly recommend it!
But if you strapped for oven space, here is an awesome recipe that can be done in the crockpot once you have brined the turkey for at least 12 hours.
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- 1 young turkey breast 6-8 lbs. that will fit in your crockpot
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 apple sliced thick
- 1 onion sliced thick
- 2 stalks celery
- 10-15 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 3-4 sage leaves chopped finely
- 1 tbs. dried thyme
- In a small bowl, combine 2 tbs. olive oil, the leaves from 5 sprigs of thyme, the finely chopped sage leaves and 1/2 tbs. dried thyme. Add 1 tsp. salt and few cracks fresh ground pepper. Combine and leave to the side.
- The turkey needs to be rinsed off after brining. Rinse with cold water both inside and out, or you will have a very salty turkey (yuck). Pat down turkey with paper towel to ensure all the water from the brine has been removed. Once dry, pour the 2 tbs. of olive oil. 1 tsp. salt and few cracks of black pepper over the bird, massaging the skin to evenly distribute the olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Add half the onion, apple and all the celery to the bottom of the crockpot.
- Carefully pull the skin away from the turkey. Pour the olive oil, thyme sage mixture into the pockets you have created with the skin. Use your fingers to push the mixture around so that it is evenly distributed.
- Stuff the turkey with the other half of he apple, onion, fresh thyme sprigs, and rosemary. Place on top of the vegetable mixture in the crock pot.
- Add the stock, Cover the crockpot and set for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours,, you can let the bird continue to warm or take it out to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- Cut the breast from the breast bone. Cut the meat on a diagonal for a elegant presentation. Add cranberries and thyme leaves to make this pop!
What About You?!
- Whats your favorite turkey recipe?
- Ever have a bad turkey?