Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Baked Turkey Breasts - save your cash & make them yourself!

Baked Turkey Breast.  I used a glass pan this time, but later learned stoneware pans make it better. Mmmm.
We eat a lot of turkey around here. The baby eats it for a meal, I eat it on salads, my hubby eats his on sandwiches.  We used to buy the organic turkey from the deli, but it can be costly, and frankly - not that great on salads.  So, I started buying the turkey breasts from the meat counter- as free range/organic as I can find, and baking them myself. It is really so simple. It takes very little prep time, costs half as much, and is tastier.  Even if you overcook it, it is still tastier than the kind at the deli counter, and has no preservatives.  It lasts about 3-5 days in the fridge so I usually buy enough for the week, and freeze half and cook twice a week.
As always, I recommend only 3 oils for baking: coconut oil (high quality), butter, or pastured lard (animals store toxins in their fat, so buy toxic free animal fat!).  Where do I get pastured lard?  I just buy it from the farmer I buy my pastured meat from. If you are unsure how to go about this, eatwild.com is a great source, or check out your local farmer's market - but be sure to ask questions!  Just because the farmer is at the market, it doesn't mean s/he is practicing pastured farming.
So, I have heard from a chef that washing your chicken/turkey/etc before cooking is pointless, since the heat kills anything on the skin.  Makes sense to me, I skip this step now.  But, it's up to you.

Baked Turkey Breasts
1.5 lbs of turkey breasts (or any amount, really)
coconut oil, butter, or pastured lard
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.  Place the breasts in a baking pan- I recommend stoneware, it makes tastier meat. Spoon a little oil/lard/butter on top of each breasts and then use your hands to cover each breast with oil.  Top with salt and pepper.  Bake in pre-heated oven from 18 - 45 minutes- depending on the size of your breasts, until cooked through and golden brown on top.  You could use a meat thermometer to test if the internal heat has reached 155˚F in the center (it will rise to 160˚ while resting).  I usually eyeball it, wait for it to get slightly golden on top, take it out, and sometimes I just cut the biggest piece and check.  Of course, you'll lose valuable resting time if you do this, but I do it anyway!  I can never find the meat thermometer.  When it's done, let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.  Keep in fridge for up to 5 days.

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