The BEST Crockpot Turkey Breast!

Ok guys, I have the turkey breast recipe to end all!! I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed this! It was SO easy, fast, and up there with my favorite turkey recipe’s of all time! It was so moist and tender, and even the next day (today) just as good after sitting in the fridge overnight (maybe even better)?! If you cook nothing else this week, make THIS! I promise you will be in love!

Ingredients:
– turkey breast roast, mine was 3 pounds
– 1/2 yellow onion, quartered
– 1/2 a stick (4 tbsp) of butter
– salt and pepper
– 2 cups chicken broth
– 1 tsp. parsley
– 2 stalks celery chopped, I didn’t use it in my recipe because I didn’t have any on hand, but I’ll try it next time for added flavor!

Directions:
Start by rinsing and patting your turkey breast dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place breast side down in your crockpot.
Place the onion, parsley, and *celery in the crockpot with the roast. Pour the chicken broth over the turkey and then place the 1/2 stick of butter right on top of your turkey.
Place the lid on your crockpot and let cook 4-6 hours on high. In the original recipe, it said you could cook it on low for 7-9 hours. However, I heard on The Food Network that you shouldn’t let non red meats slow cook, because there is a higher chance of bacteria being able to grow? Not sure if that’s true, but I just decided to go with the “better safe than sorry” route. I can’t imagine it being any more delicious than it already was, so cooking it on high was perfect!
Happy Turkey Crocking!

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Turkey Soup

I had the leftover turkey carcass from Christmas sitting in my fridge, so I decided to make soup with it. This was actually my first time making a stock from the bones, but I think it came out pretty well and the house smelled so divine! Depending on what meat you use in your soup, will make a difference in how rich it is, because of the fat content. I had a lot of dark meat leftover, so my soup tasted richer and heartier. I imagine it would be a bit lighter if you only used the white meat. Normally I’m more of a fan of the light meat, but dark is what I had, and you really can’t tell the difference much in a soup.

Ingredients:

Stock:
– 1 turkey carcass picked as clean as you can get it
– 12 cups of water
– celery, carrots, onion, or any other vegetables you want for added flavor.
– 2 tbsp. garlic

Begin by breaking up your carcass to fit in your stockpot. Give your vegetables a rough chop and throw them in the pot. You won’t be using these vegetables in your soup, so they don’t have to be pretty. Add in your garlic, and the water.
Turn your pot to low, cover, and let cook for 4 hours. Once the time is up get a large bowl and set a colander on top of it. Drain the contents from your stockpot into the big bowl, only reserving the liquid. Let cool completely and then refrigerate.

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To assemble the soup:

Ingredients:
– 1 bunch celery, chopped
– 7-8 carrots, sliced
– 1/2 a large onion, diced
– 3/4 of a box of any pasta of your choice
– your prepared turkey stock
– the leftover turkey meat
– basil, celery seed, salt, and pepper and any other seasonings of your choice. I like this combination, the basil gives it a slightly sweet note.
– 2 tbsp. butter

Directions:
In a large stockpot, melt the butter and add in the onion and celery. SautƩ the vegetables until the onions are translucent, but not brown. Add in the turkey stock and the carrots. Cook until the carrots are slightly tender. Add in the seasonings that you want and adjust to taste. Finish by adding the noodles and the turkey. Cook until the noodles are tender. Let soup cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, or serve immediately.

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Brining and roasting a turkey!

Brining a turkey was a strange concept tome until about 3 years ago, when one of my co-workers, who would later become one of my best friend’s, introduced it to me. She is from the South and brining is apparently pretty typical around here, where a so the West Coast, not so much. She promised me that I hadn’t lived until I had eaten a turkey that had been brined, she was indeed correct! I now brine my turkeys every year and have even done a pork chop in a brine with great results. You must, must, must try a brine the next time you’re going to cook a turkey! This particular brine is from The Pioneer Woman, it’s the first brine and only one for that matter that I’ve ever tried. I’m very happy with it, and know you will be too!

Ingredients:
– 3 cups apple cider or apple juice
– 2 gallons (32 cups) cold water
– 4 tbsp. Fresh rosemary leaves
– 5 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 – 1 1/2 cups salt
– 2 cups brown sugar
– 3 tbsp. whole peppercorns
– 5 whole bay leaves
– peel of three large oranges
– brining bag
– butter, about a half stick
– poultry seasoning

This concoction is enough for a 20 pound turkey, you can halve it for a smaller bird, if needed.

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover. Allow to cool completely. Now, I would recommend making your brine about a day before you need it. I had forgotten how long it takes for this amount of liquid to boil, let alone cool down completely. I tried to make mine the day before I was going to cook the turkey, and i don’t feel like I had enough time for it to really reach it maximum potential. Next year, I’m going to do the brine about 2 days in advance, so it has adequate time to cool down and I’m not trying to rush it. (See pictures below) šŸ˜‰

When your brine is ready, you’ll want to prepare your turkey. Start by rinsing off your turkey, remove the neck and the giblets packet. I know some people boil the neck to make soup and use the giblets for things, but I never do and they always just go in the trash. Rinse out the cavity and pat your bird dry.

Now, place your turkey in the brining bag, and pour the cooled brine into the bag with the turkey. The brine should be at least halfway up the bird. Place your brine and turkey in the refrigerator and refrigerate for 16-24 hours. 16 hours is alright, but 24 is better. I also usually flip my turkey about halfway through the brining time so the whole thing gets a chance to soak up some of that delicious liquid!

About a half hour before you want to get your turkey in, preheat oven to 325F and rinse off your turkey. Don’t worry, you’re not washing away the brine, just giving him a good rinse so the skin isn’t too salty. Remove from the sink and pat completely dry with paper towels. (Always remember to sanitize your sink before and after having the turkey in, as not to spread germs). Rub your turkey down with butter and then sprinkle him with poultry seasoning. Cover with foil and roast according to your directions on the turkey packaging. During the last hour of roasting, I remove the foil and let it roast uncovered. This will give the turkey some nice color and look a lot more appealing than a pale bird! šŸ˜‰

Once your turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165F you can remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Then, find a handy person who knows how to carve a turkey (that which I am not) and carve away that scrumptious bird! Your guests will swoon over your soft, moist turkey, and beg your for your method I promise!

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This is what happens when you forget how long it takes for that much liquid to cool… It ends up outside!

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This is after the turkey has been removed from the brine, and is getting a lathering of butter!

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Notice how he still looks a bit pale, I stuck him in for about 40 minutes more to get some color.

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Well hello Mr. Handsome! Much better!
Enjoy!