November is the month of turkey in the United States, with countless families planning their Thanksgiving meal around a whole-bird main dish with all the trimmings.
But if an entire turkey is just too much meat and fuss for your holiday needs, try brining a turkey breast instead. It’s an easy preparation that will free you up to create all the side dishes you love to serve, while the main attraction practically cooks itself.
Our favorite brining mix includes more than a dozen ingredients, from salt and brown sugar to juniper berries and fennel seeds. Chilled overnight in the resulting brine — no more than 24 hours, or it will become too salty — your turkey breast will soak up these flavors like a sponge.
From there, it’s as simple as rubbing the breast with some olive oil and herbs or honey mustard and then grilling and roasting till the meat is done, a little over an hour for a 2½-pound breast.
Let it stand for 15 minutes, slice it up, and you’ve got turkey pastrami that can hold its own as the centerpiece of your holiday meal.
Now the only question is, what sides will you serve?