If you’re cooking Thanksgiving for eight people or fewer, consider skipping a whole roast bird in favor of serving turkey breast instead. Before you doth protest, stay with us for a minute as we make the case for why there are many advantages to cooking turkey breast over a whole bird for the big meal.
Roasting a turkey breast is much faster than roasting a whole bird—one 3-pound half-breast takes no more than 1-1/2 hours to cook—and lets you roast the white meat perfectly, rather than have it dry out while waiting for dark meat to finish cooking. The breast is easy to turn, allowing it to self-base as it roasts (it also produces excellent pan drippings for gravy.) Once cooked, the meat is versatile, perfect for hot or cold slices or for sandwiches and salads.
A whole breast, which will be approximately 5-6 pounds, is perfect if you are preparing dinner for a group of eight, while a 3-pound half-breast is ideal for a party of four. Both are also a great addition to the meal when you are cooking for a crowd and are concerned that a whole turkey won’t provide enough meat for everyone.
Some of our turkey breast recipes: