Old Bay + Butter Roasted Turkey Breast

Holy smokes, folks! Here I am getting out ahead of the holidays again, with another delicious turkey recipe!

Or, considering how long ago I actually made this recipe, I might just be really behind. Because that might just be a photograph of our lovely Thanksgiving spread last year. Don’t tell.

But never mind the timing and when I might have first started developing this recipe. I’m here to head you off at the pass before you can sail into Thanksgiving with a boring, dull, dry turkey recipe. You can use this treatment on a full turkey and not just a turkey breast, but it will pretty much guarantee your turkey is rich and full of flavor.

And as a bonus for us, it fits in great with the cornbread stuffing, hearty potatoes, and other local flavors that have found their way onto our table.

Meet my Old Bay seasoned and butter roasted turkey breast.

Old Bay Seasoning is a delicious mixture of bay leaves, paprika, mustard, celery seed, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and a number of other things that food in the Chesapeake Bay can’t be left without.

The spice blend was originally invented by Gustav Brunn, a German refugee who fled from Bavaria to Maryland in 1939. He had worked in Germany as a spice merchant before being sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp. He was released after two weeks and smartly fled to Baltimore with his wife and a small spice grinder he brought with him.

He set up a spice shop in Baltimore, right across the street from a wholesale fish market. He found that especially the folks who sold crab and shrimp liked to make up their own spice blends and became his best customers, but he thought he could come up with a blend they might like specifically. He was right.

But it isn’t just good on seafood {although I use it on a lot of different seafood recipes, including these lobster nachos}.

I find that adding a hearty amount of Old Bay to a bit of salt and white pepper creates a barbecue or roasting rub that works on just about anything.

Old Bay + Butter Roasted Turkey Breast

Makes one large turkey breast.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 6-7 lb bone-in turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp white pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-8 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced into quarters

How to Make It:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F.

2. Using your hands, gently separate and lift the outer skin of the turkey around the neck cavity and over the breast. Spread the butter between the skin and the breast meat until thoroughly coated. Set the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.

3. In a small bowl or ramekin, mix together the salt, pepper, and Old Bay seasoning.

4. Drizzle olive oil over the outer skin of the turkey. Rub the Old Bay, salt, and pepper mixture well into the skin and let the turkey breast stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while it sinks in.

5. Roast the turkey according to weight until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads at least 160F. At 350F, roast a turkey breast for approximately 20 minutes per pound. My 6 pound turkey breast here took just under 2 hours to cook.

6. Pull the roasting pan out of the oven and let the turkey rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. Serve.

For another delicious variation on roasting a turkey breast, try this one with honey glaze!


How do you guys add local flavor to your dishes!

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