"Top Chef" judge and author of Bringing It Home, Gail Simmons stopped by to show us what she makes for Thanksgiving at her home.
Pro Tip: To butterfly a boneless turkey breast, remove and discard any netting and/or pop-up thermometer. Unroll and lay the breast flat on a cutting board, skin-side down, with the long side facing you. Holding the blade of a chef’s or boning knife parallel to the board and working from the narrowest end of the meat, make a horizontal cut halfway into the thickest part of the breast. Continue cutting until you are all but ¾ inch through, making sure not to cut all the way to the other side. Open the breast flat like a book. Cover with plastic wrap and use the back of a small, heavy skillet or meat mallet to pound out any thicker areas so that the meat is fairly uniform in thickness.
Adapted from Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes From A Life Of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons. Copyright © 2017 by Gail Simmons. Used with permission by Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.
- Canola oil, for brushing
- 1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 dried bay leaves
- One 2 to 2 ½-pound skin-on boneless turkey breast half, butterflied
Preheat oven to 450˚F with the rack in the middle. Lightly brush a small roasting pan or medium oven-safe skillet with oil.
Thinly slice the garlic, then mound with 1 teaspoon salt on a cutting board; using both the blade and the flat side of a chef’s knife, chop and scrape the mixture into a paste. Place in a bowl. Add the sugar, pepper, coriander, paprika, and mustard and stir to combine.
In a small saucepan, heat the butter and bay leaves over medium until the butter is melted. Set aside.
Spread the butterflied turkey breast on a cutting board skin-side up. Carefully run your fingers between the skin and the flesh of the turkey from one end, being careful not to pull the skin completely off. Spread about a quarter of the spice rub under the skin, then turn the turkey skin-side down. Spread about half the remaining rub over the meat. Roll and tie firmly with twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder. Spread the remaining rub all over the outside of the meat. Season generously and all over with ¾ teaspoon salt. Place seam-side down in the prepared roasting pan.
Spoon about half of the butter over the turkey, then place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 400˚F. Roast, basting with the remaining butter halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer registers 165˚F in the center, 40 to 45 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Slice the turkey and serve.