Sunday, September 13, 2009

Crock-pot Turkey Breast

This recipe is one that I go back to over and over again. There is very little prep and the results are always wonderful. I can guarantee that you'll put this recipe in your favorite recipe file after you try it the first time!

Crock-pot Turkey Breast
source: Cedar Rapids Gazette, Desperation Dinners column

1 turkey breast (6 to 6-1/2 pounds), frozen (see note)
2 tsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the turkey all over with oil. Sprinkle the breast lightly with salt and pepper to personal preference.

Place the breast, meaty side up, into a 5-quart slow cooker.

Peel the onion, cut it into quarters, and place the pieces around the edges of the pot. Peel the garlic cloves and place them around the sides of the cooker. Cover the cooker and cook the breast on low for 9 hours, or until the meat thermometer registers 170 degrees. Remove the breast from the cooker and let the bird stand at least 10 minutes before slicing. (The internal temperature will continue to rise while the bird is standing.) Discard the vegetables in the cooker. Serve the breast sliced, preferably without skin.

Note: If the turkey breast is not frozen, check for doneness (170 degrees) with a meat thermometer after 7-1/2 to 8 hours of cooking on low. Be sure to wash your hands well with soap and water immediately after handling raw poultry. Wash sink and counter surfaces the meat touches with soap and hot water.

If you do not use the entire turkey in the meal you can refrigerate, covered for 24 hours before chopping the meat and freezing. Place the meat in a freezer-weight plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition facts per serving (without skin): 326 calories (8 percent from fat), 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 194 mg cholestrol, 70 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g dieteary fiber, 122 mfg sodium.

Comments from me:
I like to have this turkey breast for my Sunday dinner, but I don't want to get up at 3:00 a.m. to put it in the crock-pot. What I've done the last several years is cook it overnight. I wait as late as possible (10 - 11:00 p.m.) to start the crock-pot. When I get up the next morning it is done. You then have two choices (I've done both), either keep it warm in the oven (put the whole crock pot in the oven) at 150 degree F; or let it cool, slice it and warm only what you need for the meal.

I don't always have an onion in the house, so I've used celery as my veggie on the bottom and it works. Make sure you use the garlic though - I oftentimes use more then 4 cloves. I also season with garlic pepper (my favorite seasoning).

It always amazes me that you don't need to add any water to the crock-pot if you are cooking the frozen turkey. You will get plenty of broth to make gravy!

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