When a whole turkey is not needed, some might choose to use a turkey breast instead. In addition to being smaller in size, it is often considered to be much easier to cook than the whole bird. Choosing ingredients and tools, determining a seasoning method, and proper baking are all things one might consider when baking turkey breast. While not directly related to baking, presentation is something that might be considered when serving the meat.
Choosing a turkey breast to bake involves considering a variety of factors such as size and how the bird was raised. The size chosen will largely depend upon the number of people who need to be fed. Various sources such as cookbooks or cooking websites might be referenced to determine appropriate size. Many people prefer to choose ingredients that are fresh or organic when baking turkey breast as they believe this offers superior taste and quality. In addition to ingredients, any baking tools needed such as roasting pans, trussing string, or a baster should be gathered prior to starting.
A variety of seasoning methods are typically used when baking turkey breast. Brining involves using a salt-based solution that not only flavors the bird but also helps retain moisture while baking. Another method involves using butter and spices to season underneath the skin as well as aromatics inside the cavity to create a flavorful dish. Placing the breast on a bed of vegetables helps season the meat and vegetables and often provides a base for gravy.
Proper safety and cooking procedures are important when baking turkey breast. If safe handling practices are ignored, the meat can potentially become contaminated by bacteria, and make diners ill. By following temperature and storage guidelines closely one can typically avoid this. Also important is reaching the appropriate internal temperature when baking turkey breast to avoid causing any related sickness. It is widely recommended that the turkey reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 71 degrees Celsius) internally.
While not an integral component of baking turkey breast, presentation often makes a meal even more appealing. After the meat has had a chance to rest, placing it on a platter along with any vegetables or other side dishes surrounding it is one way people serve their turkey. Slicing the bird before serving is another way it may be presented.