This is the simplest way to make the best Whiskey Glazed Turkey Breast that I know of! Perfect for the whole bird, too!
This post is sponsored by TX Whisky, but all opinions expressed are my own.
OK, I have to confess. I have never ever, EVER made a turkey. I have made turkey scaloppine and turkey burgers, and used lots of ground turkey, but I have never made A turkey. It’s a family tradition to always smoke a turkey, and since Manservant actually does this quite well, I am happy to let him continue. Truth be told, it is also quite handy because I only have one oven! We both, though, happen to love turkey, which means it wouldn’t be a bad thing for me to learn how to make. And of course I am a food blogger and we are expected to know how to make everything!
Over the years, we have dry smoked and wet brined and dry brined, so it’s not like I don’t have any experience with this big bird. But sometimes, especially when it’s just the two of us, one big bird is a bit too much. Enter Mr. Turkey Breast. I only used half of a turkey breast, which weighed about 5 pounds, bone in, and it was perfect for dinner, and perfect for sandwiches, and perfect to feed tidbits to the dogs. Lucky dogs!
Whiskey is a great way to give flavor to the turkey. You might say it adds a subtle sweetness to the turkey, which amps up the turkey flavor to create a well rounded and appealing main course. I must add that I think whiskey would be a perfect air freshener. Oh my. Did my house smell good!
How to Prepare this Breast
I began with a dry rub made with whiskey salt to help create crispy and flavorful skin. Then I let Mr. Turkey air dry in the fridge overnight to create the crisp skin. You could wet brine the turkey and do this also with whiskey if you’d like more whiskey flavor, and many do, but in this case I chose to use the dry rub method. So yes, I made a whiskey salt. Now some might say that this is a great way to use up whiskey too fast, but I found not only did it make my house smell great, and whiskey salt makes great gifts, but it also adds an element that regular salt does not. Subtle it is, however, if you don’t have it and don’t want to make it… do not stress!
Prepare to Cook
It’s time to preheat your oven and make the whiskey glaze. This glaze is too die for! Made with garlic and orange and sage, this would be perfect on the entire turkey and would also make a wonderfully glazed duck. Make ahead and rewarm if you’d like. Just use it liberally and make extra if you are making an entire turkey or a full breast. Yes, 450 is the right temperature. This helps crisp the skin. Then reduce the temperature and bake low and slow, and keep pan filled with water, which keeps this turkey breast moist. Glaze often as this adds so much flavor and pull from oven when the breast reaches 150. It will continue cooking as it rests.
And that’s how to make a turkey breast. A whiskey glazed turkey breast that was a perfect preview for the BIG day. This year Zoe’s boyfriend and family are joining us and I can’t wait. Not only will Zoe be home, we’ll be able to celebrate new friends, share good toasts and perhaps we’ll even drink some TX whiskey. Bottoms up!
There are so many ways to prepare turkey. Check out some of these ideas!
Herb Roasted Turkey Breast from Rachel Cooks
Grilled Turkey Tenderloins with Brown Sugar and Whole Grain Mustard from A FarmGirl’s Dabbles
Some ways to use leftover turkey
Always Pass and Share the TURKEY!
This whiskey glazed turkey breast, dry rubbed with whiskey salt and then glazed with a whiskey orange glaze, is not just for turkey lovers, but whiskey lovers, too!
1 1/2 c whiskey
1/2 c coarse sea salt
Whiskey Dry Rub
1 T fresh ground black pepper
3 T whiskey salt or regular Kosher salt
1 T smoked or regular paprika
1 T brown sugar
Turkey (I used one half of a split fresh bone in turkey breast that weighed about 5 lbs.)
1/4 c whiskey
2 T honey
3 sprigs sage
3 crushed and peeled garlic cloves
2 nice strips of orange zest
1 T soy
4 T butter
In a pot, bring whiskey to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer until reduced to a syrup, thick enough to coat a spoon. I recommend using small pot and watch carefully as it starts to thicken as you don’t want it to burn or boil away. You should have about 3 T liquid.
Once reduced, immediately add salt and stir until the salt has completely absorbed the whiskey and has changed color. Pour onto a baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper and dry in the oven at 170°F or lower for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Colorado is very dry so this only took about 20 minutes here. This also depends on how much liquid you mixed your salt with. More liquid equals more drying time.
Mix all seasonings together for the dry rub.
Prepare glaze in a small saucepan by bringing all glaze ingredients to a simmer over medium heat. Stir occasionally until reduced by about half. It should be thick enough to coat a spoon but NOT syrupy. Reduce to low and keep warm until ready to use. OR remove from heat and when ready to use rewarm over low heat. (This glaze is delicious.)
Place turkey on a rack that is placed inside a large baking sheet. Make sure turkey is dry and then rub dry rub all over the turkey. Top and bottom. use all the rub. Now chill this turkey uncovered in the fridge overnight and up to two days. This makes for a nice crispy skin.
After chilling remove turkey breast from wire rack and rinse both. Line baking sheet with foil and set rack back inside. Place turkey breast back on rack and let come to room temperature for 2-3 hours.
Place oven rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 450. Pour 1 c water into baking sheet and roast turkey breast, rotating pan after 15 minutes. After another 15 minutes turn oven temperature down to 300.
Brush turkey breast with prepared glaze. Make sure there is still enough water in the pan which helps keep turkey moist. Add more if needed. Brush turkey every 10 minutes and bake turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into turkey breast registers 150. After reducing oven temperature to 300 turkey will probably need to bake for about 50-70 minutes longer. (This will depend on the size of the turkey.) When turkey breast reaches 150 remove from oven and let turkey breast rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
You will not use all the whiskey salt in this recipe.
Prep Time does not include nonactive time.
Keywords: turkey, whiskey glaze, whiskey salt, Thanksgiving