Sweet and savory, this turkey breast is fabulous, but a lot of work. Totally worth it. The key is to baste it every 15 minutes throughout the cooking process. It’s overall a short cooking time compared with a traditional turkey, but I decided to brine it overnight rather than worry about the timing on Thanksgiving morning with so much else to do.
One 4-pound skin-on bone-in turkey breast, rinsed and trimmed of excess fat
2 1/2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons pickling spice blend
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Zest of 1 orange, cut off into wide strips
Ice, for chilling
Olive oil, for brushing turkey
Freshly ground black pepper
Cranberry Apple Glaze, recipe follows
CRANBERRY APPLE GLAZE:
2 cups apple cider
2 cups cranberries
1 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine the apple cider, cranberry juice, salt, sugar, pickling spice, red pepper flakes and orange zest in a large saucepan. Be sure to zest the entire orange. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until the salt and sugar have dissolved,, 35 to 40 minutes. Stir in 8 cups ice-cold water.
Place the turkey breast skin-side down into a large bowl and pour the brine over the top. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours (1 hour per pound).
Glaze: Combine the apple cider, cranberries, cranberry juice, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce to a simmer until the liquid has been reduced by 2 cups and the cranberries have burst, 18 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the turkey from the brine, pat dry and place skin-side up on a roasting pan with a rack. Rub the turkey with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Roast until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, 1 hour 40 minutes, brushing with Cranberry Apple Glaze every 15 minutes (using about half of the glaze total).