Buttermilk-Brined Turkey Breast

Buttermilk-Brined Turkey Breast

The proven alchemy of a salt-and-buttermilk brine does wonders for the often-dry roast turkey breast. The recipe is so easy, the trickiest step will be pulling out your kitchen scale to weigh out the salt. But it's worth doing if you can in order to ensure a properly balanced brine. Emerging from the oven with a beautiful lacquered skin and an incredibly moist and tender texture within, this roast is ideal for a scaled-down Thanksgiving meal, a cozy family dinner or to generate a stack of unbelievably tasty sandwiches.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    One to two days before you plan to cook, place buttermilk and salt in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and stir to dissolve salt. Place turkey breast in the bag and seal carefully, expelling the air. Squish the bag to distribute buttermilk all around the turkey, place on a rimmed plate, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. If you’re so inclined, you can turn the bag periodically so every part of the turkey gets marinated, but that’s not essential.
  2. Step 2

    Two hours before you plan to start cooking, remove the turkey from the plastic bag and scrape off as much buttermilk as you can without being obsessive. Discard buttermilk, set the breast on a rimmed plate and bring it to room temperature.
  3. Step 3

    Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 425 degrees. Place breast skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a wire rack or parchment paper.
  4. Step 4

    Place baking sheet on the prepared oven rack and roast the turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the breast without touching bone registers 150 degrees, about 40 minutes for a boneless breast or 50 minutes for a bone-in breast. (You may want to tent the breast with aluminum foil if it’s darkening too quickly.)
  5. Step 5

    Transfer turkey to a cutting board or platter and allow to rest at least 15 minutes before carving.