Pretty sure I have mentioned on more than one occasion that I have a small kitchen, with about 5 ft. of usable but non-continuous counter space. It’s something that to be honest, I use to complain about. A lot. But as with many struggles in life, you grow to accept the limitations, and these days instead of complaining, I just find creative ways of dealing with it.
That said, Thanksgiving has always proven to be a challenge. Definitely “think outside the box” time. And more than ever the appliance for which I am most thankful is my slow cooker.
In the past, I’ve put mine to use for preparing and serving mashed potatoes. ( Highly recommend this recipe from Cooking Classy! ) I’ve also put my smaller cooker to use to keep gravy warm.
Just spread a little underneath the skin and again on top of the breast after browning. It adds just the right amount of savory touch.
Really that’s all there is too it. Just simmer away in some chicken stock for about 5-6 hours. You can make slice the breast ahead of time and re-heat. Added bonus too: the reserved liquid makes a fantastic gravy (instructions follow recipe).
Of course you can make a slow cooker turkey breast any day of the year! But especially on Thanksgiving, if you are also blessed with a small kitchen, large crowd and need a little extra turkey to serve, this recipe is a lifesaver.
Savory Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- 1 bone-in or boneless (rolled and tied) fresh turkey breast (about 5#)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 TBS fresh minced rosemary
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 4 TBS olive oil, divided
- 1 cup roughly chopped celery
- 1 cup roughly chopped onion
- 3/4 cups chicken or turkey stock
Puree the garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper & paprika in a mini food processor. Add 2 TBS of the olive oil ad process until a paste forms (this can also be done with a mortar and pestle).
Rinse the breast under cold water and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
Using your fingers, loosen the skin on the turkey breast and spread about half of the paste onto the meat, distributing evenly. Pull skin back over meat (use toothpicks to secure skin if necessary). Sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining 2 TBS olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear turkey breast on all sides until golden.
Place celery and onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place turkey on top of vegetables, breast side up. Spread remaining paste over top of breast, distributing evenly. Pour in chicken broth. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
Remove breast from slow cooker and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Strain the solids from the slow cooker and skim off any fat. You should have about 1-2 cups of stock, Add additional chicken or turkey stock to bring to 4 cups. Bring to a simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Keep warm.
In a second saucepan, melt 2 TBS unsalted butter over medium heat. Whisk in 2 TBS all-purpose flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until mixture is golden. Slowly whisk in reserved stock, whisking constantly, until smooth.
Reduce heat to low and simmer gravy, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened. If desired, add in a few drops of Kitchen Bouquet® in for a deep rich brown color. Season to taste, adding additional salt and black pepper if desired.