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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Jerk Roasted Turkey Breast

I love cooking with turkey.  You flavour it in so many ways.  This Jamaican jerk seasoned turkey breast is a wonderful, flavourful way to enjoy turkey.  It would be great for a spicy Thanksgiving meal for two or three, but it's easy to make for a weeknight dinner too.  

Jamaican jerk combines the flavours of thyme, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg with hot peppers and sugar for a taste that's more warmly spiced than super hot.  Of course, you can adjust the heat to your preference by adding more scotch bonnet peppers.  

Here's what you need for this very tasty turkey breast:

1-inch piece ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 scotch bonnet or habanero chiles (or adjust the amount to 1 for very mild or 3-4 for very hot)
¼ cup chopped scallions

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste¼ tablespoon dried thyme½ teaspoon ground cinnamon¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons lime juice
tablespoon soy sauce
2-3 pound bone-in turkey breast with skin

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Peel and chop the garlic and ginger and remove the stem and seeds from the chilis and chop.  Combine in a blender with the scallions, oil, sugar, spices, lime juice, and soy sauce.  

Blend it all together until it forms a smooth paste.

Bone-in turkey breasts cook pretty quickly but the bone helps keep the meat moist and tender.  

Place the turkey breast on a foil-lined baking sheet and cover the underside with the jerk paste.

Flip the breast over and generously cover the top with the paste as well.  You should have some paste left over.  

Place the turkey breast, skin side up in the 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 and roast for about 45 minutes until the turkey reaches 165 degrees.  

Remove the breast from the oven and let it sit, covered for about 10 minutes.  

Carve the turkey breast and serve.

I served it with roasted sweet potato wedges and asparagus.  You can serve the leftover jerk sauce over the turkey, or mix it with some sour cream to make a dipping sauce for the sweet potatoes.

Although there are lots of ingredients, this recipe comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner, but it's special enough for a holiday feast.  Enjoy!

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