Roasted Turkey Half-Breast with Pineapple Glaze

The lovely image of a large and festive roasted Thanksgiving turkey is one thing. Actually cooking the turkey just right is another thing.

Lots of people, even some who are perfectly good home cooks and make delicious food, are sometimes afraid of roasting a whole turkey.

Here’s how I do it. We eat turkey throughout the year, so I change the basting fluids and seasonings whenever I cook one, but the method described in that blog post works whatever the seasonings. At least it has worked for us.

Turkey can also be easier if you roast separate parts. It’s a much better idea actually, especially if you have a small family or no one likes the white meat (or dark).

When I wish to roast a breast only, this is how I do it. As with a whole turkey, I change the basting fluids and seasonings often, but this recipe, which is vaguely sweet, with a refreshing acidic touch thanks to the pineapple juice, and a bit of heat because of the Sriracha, has been a winner at our house.

You can use the same seasonings for a whole turkey of course (double up on the glaze ingredients). In that case, add the glaze mixture later (after about 40 minutes).

Roasted Turkey Half-Breast with Pineapple Glaze

  • 1-1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sambal or Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • turkey half breast, about 3 pounds
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, Sambal, ginger, thyme, and garlic in a saucepan and whisk ingredients until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until thickened slightly and syrupy. Set aside to cool. Rinse and dry the turkey breast and place it skin side up in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 325 degrees. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour half the juice mixture over the turkey. Continue to roast for another 20 minutes. Pour the remainder of the juice mixture over the turkey. Continue to roast the turkey for another 20-35 minutes or until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast measures 160°F, basting occasionally with the pan juices. Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving. Serve with pan fluids.

Makes 4-6 servings.