Not cooking for a crowd? How to roast a turkey breast and thigh for a holiday meal for a small group
I used to host very large Thanksgiving dinners with tons of friends who didn’t have family in town. One year in Chicago it was bitterly cold and twelve of us huddled together over delicious food. But over time, and with people in my life spread out across the country, dinners have gotten smaller. Last year I did Thanksgiving dinner for two in the slow cooker. This year, we’re taking our Thanksgiving picnic to the beach with my sister and her husband. I’ll be making turkey salad, broccoli salad with slivered almonds, stuffing “muffins”, and we’ll come home for pumpkin pie with coconut whipped cream. Since my husband loves dark meat, I also cooked one turkey thigh for him.
I’ve been experimenting with buying just turkey breasts, and sometimes thighs, and roasting them with a variety of rubs. It’s quicker and easier than dealing with an entire turkey, and if you are only hosting a couple of people it makes more sense. You still end up with pan drippings for gravy, and a couple of bones you can use for stock if you make your own stock. With fresh turkeys in pieces much more readily available now, you can also simply cook your own turkey breast and slice it thinly for low-sodium sandwich meat.
There are a couple of things you’ll need:
- A large ovenproof roasting pan. (One that’s safe to put on a burner if you want to make gravy.)
- A roasting rack to fit inside. (Aluminum foil if you don’t have a roasting rack.)
- An instant-read meat thermometer.
Required FTC disclosure: I received the pan in the photos as a gift from Calphalon (at my request) with the agreement that I would use the pan in this post. I was not paid to write this post.
low-sodium, migraine, gluten-free, paleo, Whole30, reduced-sugar diets (you’ll need to use tapioca starch or arrowroot starch for paleo gravy)