If your get-together is small and you don't need a huge, bone-in turkey, or if you don't care for dark-meat turkey, a boneless turkey breast may be just what you need. It's the right size for dinner for a small family with plenty leftover for nutritious lunch sandwiches or mid-week casseroles. A turkey breast is easy to roast, a cinch to carve, and is table-ready in just a few hours.
Thaw your Honeysuckle White turkey breast in the refrigerator before cooking. Place the turkey on a tray, then place the tray on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator to prevent the juices from dripping to food below. Allow at least one full day to thaw each 4 lbs. of turkey breast. If you don't have time for refrigerator thawing, thaw the turkey -- in the package -- in a clean sink filled with cold water. Add fresh, cold water every 30 minutes. Allow a total thawing time of 30 minutes for each 1 lb. of turkey breast. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature or in warm water.
Preparing the Breast
While some sources recommend rinsing a turkey breast, food safety experts at Clemson Cooperative Extension advise that rinsing isn't necessary because cooking temperatures are high enough to kill any bacteria that may be present. Rinsing the turkey may spread bacteria from the turkey to your sink, counter top, and to other foods. Instead, drain the turkey, then pat it dry with paper towels. If you rinse the turkey, clean everything that comes in contact with the turkey or the juices with a mixture of 1 part household bleach and ten parts water.
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Sprinkle the inside of the turkey breast with dry dressing and seasoning mix to add flavor. Place the turkey, skin-side up, in a roasting pan. Place the turkey on a rack to hold it above the juices and prevent the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Brush the skin with vegetable oil to keep the skin moist. Sprinkle dry dressing mix lightly over the oiled skin for an additional flavor boost. Use pan juices to baste the turkey occasionally to keep it moist. When the turkey breast turns golden brown, cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil to keep the skin from becoming dry and overcooked.
Roast the turkey until a meat thermometer registers 165 F at the thickest part of the breast. A small turkey breast weighing 3 to 4 lbs. requires 1 to 1/2 hours cooking time. A larger breast weighing 6 to 7 lbs. cooks in 2 1/2 to 3 1/4 hours. Allow the turkey to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before carving so the juices have time to absorb throughout the meat.