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Dutch Oven Turkey Breast

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Dutch oven turkey breast braised with apples in a creamy sauce, a delicious alternative to a whole Thanksgiving turkey.

DUTCH OVEN BRAISED TURKEY BREAST

braised turkey breast on a platter

If cooking a whole turkey for Thanksgiving is too much for you, here is an easy and incredibly flavorful alternative: cook a turkey breast in a Dutch oven on the stove. But if you would still like a whole bird have a look at this Dutch oven Whole Turkey recipe, it is dead-easy and incredibly delicious!

It will be ready in about 1 hour, it will be tender and full of flavor and it will come with the sauce and part of the side dishes included.

No need for extra stuffing or for making a sauce from scratch using the turkey giblets or similar. Just the turkey breast, some white wine, onions and apples, and a little bit of cream at the end. That’s it!

The turkey is cooked slowly in wine and due to the fact that you are only cooking the breast without any other parts attached, you can adjust the cooking times accordingly, so that it remains tender and nice.

Another bonus is that if cooking the main dish takes so little time and energy, you will have more time for other stuff like side dish, appetizers or some really great desserts.

Why not try the healthier green bean casserole or the sweet potato gratin, these puff pastry pesto nibbles or these cheese crackers? The oven will be empty anyway, so you can use it for baking side dishes or appetizers.

And for dessert a double chocolate cheesecake or a lemon meringue pie?

Other advantages of cooking turkey breast for Thanksgiving:

  • Well, we mentioned the fact that your oven will be free for making something else.
  • Cheaper: It is much cheaper to buy a turkey breast than a whole turkey. The rest of the ingredients are very cheap as well.
  • Healthier: it is super lean, white meat, and no skin. OK, I admit, there is the heavy cream and that adds calories, but still, this dish is much lighter than a whole bird.
  • Less leftovers: leftovers are usually OK with me, but when cooking a whole turkey, I have more leftovers than I can handle.
braised turkey breast with apples on a platter

WHAT IS A DUTCH OVEN?

But what is a dutch oven and why should you use for making this turkey breast?

A Dutch oven is thick, heavy cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. They can be made of seasoned cast iron or they can be enameled. They are also called casserole dishes or cocottes.

They come in different shapes, sizes and colors. I have four of them:

Generally, I prefer to use the enameled Dutch ovens, not because they are better than the seasoned ones (they are all great), but because they are easier to clean. But otherwise, whether cast iron or enamel, use whatever you have or buy whatever you like best.

dutch oven turkey breast with creamy sauce

Ingredients

Turkey breast:

  • You will need boneless, skinless turkey breast of about 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs.
  • The turkey breasts I get at a farmer in our village are huge, so I had to halve one to have a 1 kg piece.

Apples:

  • I used two sorts of apples: Granny Smith and Jonagold. After trying both, I recommend Granny Smith because they hold their shape much better.

Wine:

  • You will need semi-sweet white wine.
  • If using dry wine, you will have to adjust the taste of the sauce with a pinch of sugar, if necessary.

Spices:

  • Cinnamon and sugar: might sound unusual, but it really works, you will love the flavor.
  • Curry powder: I used a mild yellow curry powder, very flavorful, but not hot at all. If using hot curry powder, adjust the amount according to taste.
dutch oven turkey breast

How to cook turkey breast in the Dutch oven?

This recipe is so easy and requires so little actual work, you will keep coming back to it. It is not only suitable for Thanksgiving, Christmas or other festive meals, but also for a regular meal on a Sunday or any day of the week. It is just that easy to make.

  • Pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Mix together the curry, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Rub the meat with this mixture.
  • Heat a little oil in the Dutch oven and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. If the breast is rather higher than flat, it will have more than only two sides to brown, I had to turn mine on four sides.
  • Add the chopped onions and quartered apples during the last 3 minutes of the browning time.
  • Add the white wine, stir slightly.
  • Place the lid on the Dutch oven, turn the heat down to medium-low and braise for 1 hour, turning 2 times in between.
  • To make sure that the meat is cooked through (it should be after one hour), check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. The temperature should be of 74 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If the breast is rather flat, check after about 50 minutes of cooking time already.
  • Remove from the pot, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let rest while you finish the sauce. If you like a thicker sauce, you could thicken it with a little cornstarch stirred into a paste with some water. However, I don’t find it necessary, I like the consistency of the sauce as it is.
  • Pour the heavy cream into the pot and let bubble until slightly thickened. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
braising turkey breast in a dutch oven

How to serve?

  • Slice and serve with the sauce and the apples.
  • The braised turkey well goes very well with either rice, potatoes or noodles. And if you are in Germany, Semmelknödel are just perfect for the sauce.
  • Leftovers can be reheated in the sauce. Add a splash of milk when reheating, the sauce tends to thicken more when cold.

And if you have lots of leftover turkey, either from this recipe or from another turkey recipe, you could try any of the following:

Leftover Turkey Fricassee – probably the most common way of using leftover turkey in our house, the entire family loves turkey fricassee.

Leftover Turkey Lasagna – a delicious cheesy yet light turkey lasagna with cream cheese and cottage cheese.

Leftover Turkey Risotto – a super easy to make, creamy risotto with leftover turkey.

Vegetable Strudel with Leftover Turkey – make another guest-worthy, festive meal.

Leftover Turkey Noodle Casserole – your children will adore this noodle dish with white sauce.

PIN IT FOR LATER!

dutch oven turkey breast with apple sauce
turkey breast cooked in the dutch oven with sauce

Dutch Oven Turkey Breast

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Dutch oven turkey breast braised with apples in a creamy sauce, a delicious alternative to a whole Thanksgiving turkey.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs turkey breast, boneless, skinless
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder (See note 1)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 crisp sweet-tart apples (See note 2)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup semi-sweet white wine
  • 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup heavy/double cream
  • fine sea salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Pat dry the turkey breast with kitchen paper.
  2. Mix together the curry, cinnamon, sugar, ¾ fine sea salt and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. Rub the turkey breast with this mixture.
  3. Heat a little oil in the Dutch oven and brown the turkey breast on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. If the turkey breast is rather higher than flat, it will have more than only two sides to brown.
  4. Add the chopped onions and quartered apples during the last 3 minutes of the browning time. Add the white wine and stir slightly around the turkey breast.
  5. Place the lid on and braise the turkey on medium low heat for 1 hour, turning the breast twice in between. If the turkey breast is rather flat, check the internal temperature after about 50 minutes. To make sure that the turkey breast is cooked through (even a thicker one should be done after one hour), check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. The temperature should be of 74 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Remove the turkey breast from the pot, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let rest while you make the sauce.
  7. Pour the heavy cream into the pot and let bubble until slightly thickened. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.

Notes

  1. I use an aromatic yellow curry powder, which was not hot at all. If using hotter curry powder, please adjust the amount according to your taste.
  2. For instance, Granny Smith.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 532mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 52g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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