Let’s be honest. The turkey is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table, but it is often not everyone’s favorite part of the meal. You can change that this year by pairing the savory, tender meat and earthy herbs with the delicate sweetness of lightly caramelized onions. This recipe goes a step further by adding a slight tanginess from balsamic vinegar and then it’s topped off with a mildly tart cranberry sauce.
This recipe is simple to prepare. Once you have the bird rubbed down and in the oven, you can work on the onions and cranberries so that it all easily comes together when it’s time to serve. It’s quite the show-stopper when the golden brown turkey breast is set over the onions. Your family and friends will be ready to dig in!
Roast Turkey Breast with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Glazed Dried Cranberries
Yield: 10 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1, 7 lb. whole turkey breast, or 2 half-breasts (about 3-1/2 pounds each)
- 7 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
- 4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 6 medium yellow onions (about 3 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Glazed Dried Cranberries (recipe follows)
- Parsley, thyme or rosemary or other fresh herbs for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Rub turkey on all sides with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle all sides with 3 teaspoons each of rosemary and thyme. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Place in roasting pan and roast at 350 degrees for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees. Halfway through roasting time, baste with 2 more tablespoons vinegar.
Meanwhile, peel, halve and slice onions. In 12-inch skillet over medium heat, sauté onions in oil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until soft and light golden. Stir in 1 teaspoon each of rosemary and thyme, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
To serve, make a ring of onions on platter. Place turkey in center and top with a spoonful of Glazed Dried Cranberries (recipe below). Pass remaining sauce. Garnish the turkey with fresh herbs, if desired.
Glazed Dried Cranberries: In a medium saucepan, combine 2 (5 ounce) packages dried cranberries with 1 ½ cups undiluted frozen orange juice concentrate and 1 ½ cups water. Bring to boil over high heat and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and stir into sauce. Heat briefly, stirring until thickened and glossy. Puree in a blender for a smooth sauce, if desired. Makes 3 cups.
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Recipe provided by the National Onion Association. Text and images by Lori Rice