Monday, March 8, 2010

Talking turkey

Turkey has become more popular as a lunch meat, but have you looked at the nutrition label on that pack of "deli sliced" processed meat? The sodium is way high, and even if you don't have high blood pressure, it can't be that good for you, especially for something you eat every day.

But what can a busy worker do? Well, the next time you see a whole (not boneless) frozen turkey breast on sale, buy it. I found them for 99 cents a pound last week, and cooked it yesterday for dinner. I will have sliced turkey for the week with minimal sodium, and it'll taste like real turkey, too.

Turkey breast is easy to cook. Thaw it in the fridge a day or two before you want to cook it. Turn on your oven to 500 degrees. Drain the turkey, wash it and dry it well. Flatten out the ribs as much as you can. If you like garlic, poke a couple of holes in the thickest part, cut the garlic cloves in half and put them in. Rub the underside and top with your favorite spice mixture. I always add a little paprika or smoked paprika to give the skin a good color, and spray it with olive oil. A 5-pound breast fit snugly in a glass 8x8-inch baking pan, and for added flavor, I set it on top of two onions, each peeled and cut in half.

Put the turkey in the oven and turn it down to 325. Bake for about 20 minutes per pound, or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 degrees. My 5-pound breast took about an hour and a half. Remove from oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes for the juices to settle in the meat, then slice. If you're only using it for lunch meat, wrap it as soon as it cools and refrigerate. It will be easier to slice when cold.


  1. You are so right about the questionable ingredients in sliced turkey in the deli, especially the pre-packaged stuff.
    This is a great idea, especially when turkey is on sale.
    I confess that I occasionally buy the in-store roasted turkey breast when it is on sale on $5 Friday. And I do get a lot of sandwiches, etc., out of it.
    Of course, nothing like roasting your own, but better than the chemical-laden stuff in the packages.
    Love your posts!

  2. Thanks, Tina. I think the stores brine a bit too much, but as far as I know, no chemicals.