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Cast Iron Boneless Turkey Breasts with Cranberry Chutney

Why This Recipe Works

Boneless turkey breast offers all the hearty flavor of turkey without the challenges of cooking and carving a giant bird or bone-in breast, making it a quicker and more approachable everyday meal. For crisp, golden skin, we preheated our cast-iron skillet on the stovetop and browned the turkey on all sides before roasting. This meant that the meat needed much less time to finish cooking in the oven. We came across a problem during roasting, however; the boneless breasts were very unevenly shaped, so they cooked unevenly. Tucking the tapered ends underneath and tying the breasts with twine made them more uniform and easier to cook. Finally, we developed a chutney to add flavor to the mild meat. We used shallot, fresh ginger, mustard seeds, sugar, cranberries, and orange zest, with a splash of vinegar to round out the flavors.

Salt and pepper
2 (2-pound) boneless, skin-on turkey breasts halves, trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
12 ounces (3 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Nutritional Information

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Instructions

Serves 6 to 8

If you're using self-basting turkey breast halves (such as frozen Butterball) or kosher turkey breast halves, do not brine in step 1, but season with salt in step 2. Often, boneless turkey breast halves are sold in elastic netting; be sure to remove the netting before brining or cooking.

1. Dissolve 6 tablespoons salt in 3 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge turkey in brine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck tapered end of each breast underneath and loosely tie lengthwise with kitchen twine. Tie breasts crosswise at 1 1/2-inch intervals to make tidy, even roasts. Season turkey with pepper.

3. Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add oil and heat until just smoking. Brown turkey on all sides, about 10 minutes. Flip turkey skin side down, transfer skillet to oven, and roast until turkey registers 160 degrees, about 1 hour, flipping breasts halfway through roasting.

4. Using potholders, remove skillet from oven. Transfer turkey to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest while making chutney.

5. Being careful of hot skillet handle, pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat. Add shallot, ginger, mustard seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook over medium heat until shallot is softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in cranberries, sugar, water, and orange zest. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have mostly broken down and mixture is thickened, about 15 minutes. Off heat, stir in vinegar and any accumulated turkey juices. Remove twine from turkey and slice into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with chutney.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.