Raise your hand if any of the following have ever happened to you:
1. You have a large turkey tying up the majority of your oven space and you need to get the side dishes/ rolls/ desserts into the oven, but the turkey is hogging all of the space and won’t be ready to give it up any time soon.
2. You’re planning on serving both turkey and ham (a popular idea at Easter) and have no idea why it suddenly seems like your oven is the size of one belonging in a doll house and there’s no way both items are going to fit in there.
3. You’re not feeding a crowd, and you just want turkey for dinner and the thought of roasting a whole turkey inspires visions of eating turkey concoctions for a month to use up leftovers.
4. The thought of making a roasted turkey scares you to the point of near hysteria.
At one time or another, all of those scenarios have applied to me. When I go to someone else’s house for a holiday I usually don’t come home with leftovers. I love a leftover roasted turkey sandwich, and so I started tossing a turkey breast into the crock pot before venturing out and would slice it up and refrigerate it when I came home. It gave me a great way to avoid the grocery store for a day or two post-holiday because I had turkey for sandwiches and soup, and turkey pot pie for dinner the next night. It was like all of the leftover turkey bliss of entertaining without any of the stress of actually entertaining. There was also a time when the thought of roasting a whole turkey terrified me, but we’re way past that now. For our family of four, roasting a whole turkey isn’t always practical and tossing a turkey breast into the crock pot is an easy way to make turkey dinner whenever I want without having to wrestle side dishes into the oven and carve up a whole turkey. Last Thanksgiving, the oven balancing act was avoided because Lane volunteered to fry the turkey. I was worried that the largest bird we could safely fry wouldn’t be enough for the number of guests (including two “growing boys” from West Point and a handful of overnight guests who might want to join me in having a turkey sandwich later that night), but two turkeys would have been entirely too much. At some holiday gatherings, both turkey and ham are served. I don’t know about you, but my oven is definitely not big enough to simultaneously house a ham and a turkey. A turkey breast in the crock pot has always been a great solution to any of these problems.
This is my second favorite way to make turkey (frying being the first, but not always practical). It’s easy enough for a turkey making novice, requires no basting or tenting with foil, or shuffling around the oven. It always turns out tasty, and juicy, and exactly like a traditional oven-roasted turkey. There’s plenty of meat for dinner and then for my beloved sandwiches and soup, and I use a crock pot liner so there is almost no clean-up necessary. I like a bone-in turkey breast for this, but I do tend to find that even the smallest turkey breast I’ve used has a long enough bone that I have to chop into it and crack it with a sharp knife in order for it to fit into the crock pot. Three quarters of a pound per person is typically enough to feed each guest and have leftovers. For four of us, I use a six pound bone in turkey breast, and it’s plenty of turkey for four dinners, four sandwiches, soup, and a turkey pot pie. This is great way to cook once and eat a few times during a busy week.
Crock Pot Turkey Breast
- 4-6 lb. thawed bone-in turkey breast (3/4 lb. per guest)
- 2 C. chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 onion, quartered
- salt and pepper
If necessary for the breast to fit into your crock pot (the lid must close completely), cut into the bone in the chicken breast using a cleaver or sharp knife so that the bone is split.
Line the crock pot with a crock pot liner (optional but recommended for easy cleanup).
Pour the chicken broth into the crock pot and place the quartered onion onto the bottom of the crock pot.
If desired, trim the skin off of the turkey breast (the skin will not crisp using this method, but does not have to be removed).
Sprinkle the turkey breast liberally with salt and pepper (you can also sprinkle with rosemary, garlic powder, seasoned salt- seasonings are entirely optional and up to you).
Place the turkey breast into the crock pot, meat-side-down and cover with the lid.
Cook on low for 7-9 hours, or high for 4-6 hours (a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part should read 170 degrees).
Remove the turkey from the crock pot and place it onto a carving board. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Source: Diana Dishes original