Holiday Meal Hacks: The Main Meat Event

Holiday Meal Hacks: The Main Meat Event

Many of us look forward to meat as the main event of holiday feasts. That succulent, juicy meat that’s been cooked oh-so carefully and with so much care. The perfect star of the holiday feast, with all of the apps and side dishes playing supporting roles.

Now, I know that some people choose to fry their turkeys, slow cook their pork loins, bake their tofurkys, and so on, but this is all about the hack. Today I’m showing you how to have all the taste of a long prep turkey, without the prep. I want you to sit back and enjoy this holiday with this hack-worthy roasted boneless turkey breast.

With that said, keep in mind that a truly committed holiday hacker; one that stands up and says “no” to cooking, can always purchase a pre-ordered, cooked turkey breast or whole turkey from your favorite store. Then use my appetizer, soup, and salad hacks, along with my side dish hacks, for a full meal, minus the effort.

Be sure that if you go store-bought route, you pre-order what you’re going to want. These items go quick and I would hate for you to miss the feast!

For those of you looking to get a little dirty, let’s get to the turkey breast!

[directions title=”Directions”]

  1. Brine turkey breast and/or thighs using a brine mix from the store. Just follow the instructions on the package. This will usually take somewhere between 12 and 24 hours so keep that in mind while planning.
      One of my secrets is to use a clean empty cooler to brine your turkey. Cover the bird with ice instead of adding additional water for a tender end result. Plus, it keeps room open in the refrigerator.
  2. Rinse and pat dry turkey, season well with salt and pepper, and roast on an oiled rack in a roast pan.
  3. Roast in preheated 350° F oven. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 165° F (use a meat thermometer). Cooking times vary depending on the size and cut of the turkey. For added flavor you can baste the turkey while roasting with flavored butter, turkey stock and/or white wine. If the turkey is getting too brown, tent with foil.
  4. Let turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.


What about the gravy?

Gravy is any turkey-eaters best friend so be sure to include this when setting the menu for your feast.

You can buy turkey gravy or you can make a quick one using these steps…

[directions title=”Directions”]

  1. Remove cooked turkey from the roasting pan. This is where you’ll make your gravy.
  2. Add flour to the bottom of the pan. The basic formula to make a roux gravy is 2 tablespoons fat, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1 cup of liquid to equal 1 cup of gravy. So the amount of flour you use will depend on how much fat you have from the turkey drippings, as well as how much gravy you’ll need.
  3. Stir together all the goodness at the bottom of the pan with the flour to make a paste-like consistency. Then whisk in turkey stock (using the basic formula above) to achieve that familiar gravy consistency.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs that tickle your fancy. Transfer to a sauce pot to hold and keep warm on the stove.


Once you’re done making your gravy, you can put your turkey back on the roasting rack and keep warm in a low 225° F oven.

If oven space is tight, you can keep your turkey warm in a clean cooler with a tight lid. Coolers just don’t hold cool things, ya know! That’s my Chef’s catering transfer tip!

It’s as simple as that! Even a holiday hacker could do it!

If you have any questions, just post them in the comments section below or directly on my Facebook page and let’s chat!

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