Roasted, Brined Turkey Breast with Maple-Worcestershire Gravy and Fruit and Nut Rice Pilaf

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 day 1 hr 40 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings with 1 pound of leftover meat
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1 gallon spring water

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup superfine sugar

6 fresh bay leaves

2 large shallots, quartered lengthwise

A palmful coriander seeds

A palmful black peppercorns

A palmful paprika

A palmful poultry seasoning

1/2 palmful allspice berries

6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped or sliced

1 (6 to 7 pound) full turkey breast

Maple-Worcestershire Gravy

4 tablespoons butter

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken stock-in-a-box

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup dark amber maple syrup

Lots of coarsely ground black pepper

Fruit and Nut Pilaf

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup (1-inch pieces) broken thin spaghetti

1 1/2 cups rice

1 small carrot, finely chopped

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

4 scallions, whites and greens, chopped

1 teaspoon orange zest

3 cups chicken stock-in-a-box

1 small navel orange, supremed or sectioned and chopped

1 cup halved seedless red grapes

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Special equipment:
Jumbo size plastic food bag, (recommended: Hefty brand 3 to 5 gallons)
  1. Open a jumbo plastic food storage bag in the sink and add the water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, shallots, seasonings and garlic and swish around to combine. Add the turkey breast and seal the bag. Put it into the refrigerator and let it brine for 24 hours in advance of your cooking day. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  3. Pat the turkey breast dry, season with salt and pepper and put it in a roasting pan. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Baste, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 degrees F, about 40 minutes. Remove the turkey breast from the oven to a cutting board. Cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Carve the breast and arrange it on a serving platter. Serve with pan juices. 
  4. Reserve 1 pound of meat for another menu. Cool, wrap and refrigerate the reserved meat. 
  5. Add the butter to a medium sauce pot and melt it over medium to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and thyme and saute for 2 minutes, then add the flour and stir 1 minute. Whisk in the stock, Worcestershire and maple syrup. Season with black pepper, to taste, and reduce the mixture until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the spaghetti and toast until deeply golden in color. Add rice, carrot, celery, scallions and orange zest, then stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until the rice is tender, about 16 to 18 minutes. 
  7. Fluff the rice with fork and add the oranges, grapes, nuts, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Transfer the rice to a serving bowl.