The turkey is the star of the show come Thanksgiving but can present some problems when cooks traditionally. Overcooked dry meat, and it takes up the whole oven preventing the preparation of other sides. We've solved all of those problems! Make this Thanksgiving one to remember and check out the full guide below on how to cook the juiciest, most tender sous vide turkey breast ever with your Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker
with this recipe from #anovafoodnerd J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.
Sous Vide Turkey Breast with Crispy Skin
Sous vide is a fantastic method for cooking holiday roasts. It delivers reliable moist and tender results, frees up your oven for other tasks, requires almost no supervision while cooking, and is very easy to hold hot and ready to serve until your guests are ready.
Why this recipe works:
- Tying two breast halves into a cylinder makes for perfectly even cooking and gorgeous presentation.
- Sous vide cooking offers a very high level of precise control over the end results.
- Cooking the skin separately in the oven delivers the roasty flavors and extra crispness that we love about great roast turkey
- Using the breastbone to fortify stock gives rich, flavorful gravy
- Multiple doneness options to choose exactly how the outcome will be.
What you'll need:
- 1 Large Whole Skin-on, Bone-in Turkey Breast (about 5 lb / 454 g)
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- For the gravy (optional):
- 1 tbsp / 15 ml Vegetable Oil (for gravy)
- 1 Large Onion, Roughly Chopped (for gravy)
- 1 Large Carrot, Peeled and Roughly Chopped (for gravy)
- 2 Stalks Celery, Roughly Chopped (for gravy)
- 1.5 q / 1.5 L Low Sodium Chicken Stock (for gravy)
- 2 Bay Leaves (for gravy)
- 1 tsp / 5 ml Soy Sauce (for gravy)
- 3 tbsp / 45 g Butter (for gravy)
- 1/4 c / 30 g Flour (for gravy)
1. Set your Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to your desired target temperature and time from the list below.
- Very pink, soft, extra moist 132°F / 55.5°C for 4 hours
- Pale pink, soft, moist 138°F / 58.8°C for 3 hours
- White, tender, moist 145°F / 62.7°C (Kenji's favorite!) for 2.5 hours
- White, traditional roast texture 152°F / 66.6°C for 2 hours
2. Starting with a whole turkey breast, remove the skin in one large piece. Use a sharp boning knife to remove the breast halves from the breast bone. (Optional: for gravy, save the breast bone.)
3. Season the breast halves generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
4. Align the two breast halves so that they are matched up like a jigsaw, with the fat end of one lined up with the skinny end of the other.
5. Gently press the turkey into an even cylindrical shape.
6. Tie the breasts at 1-inch intervals using short lengths of kitchen twine. Start by tying both of the ends, then work your way to the center, alternating ties on each side.
7. Adjust the shape of the turkey again to form a neat cylinder.
8. You can use a vacuum sealer, but a heavy duty zipper-lock bag will work just as well. Place the turkey inside the bag. At this stage, the turkey can be refrigerated for up to 3 days to dry-brine, or cooked right away.
9. Slowly lower the bag into a pot of water, letting the pressure of the water press air out through the top of the bag. Once most of the air is out of the bag, carefully seal the bag just above the waterline. Sous vide for the time listed in the chart above.
Cook the skin:
1. While the turkey cooks, start working on the skin. Adjust the oven temperature to 400°F / 204.5C, then spread your turkey skin out in a single layer on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet.
2. Season the skin generously with salt and pepper.
3. Cover the skin with a second sheet of parchment.
4. Carefully squeeze out any air bubbles.
5. Place a second rimmed baking sheet on top of the first to keep the skin flat as it cooks.
6. Roast the skin in the oven until it is extremely crisp. This takes about half an hour to 45 minutes. The cooked skin can be left to cool at room temperature and stored in an open container for up to a day. Re-crisp it in the toaster oven before serving if it turns soft (though it probably won't).
Make that gravy:
1. Chop breastbone into 1-inch chunks with cleaver or knife. Heat oil in medium saucepan over high heat until smoking. Add onions, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, about 10 minutes total. Add stock, bay leaves, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour then strain through a fine mesh strainer. You should have a little over a quart of fortified stock. If not, add water or more chicken stock to equal 1 quart. Discard solids and set stock aside.
2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, add broth in thin, steady stream. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened and reduced to about 3 cups / 700 ml. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
1. When the turkey is cooked, remove it from the bag and carefully untie all of the strings. The cooked turkey can also be chilled in an ice bath and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat it in a 130°F / 54.4ºC water bath for about an hour before serving.
2. Slice the turkey using a very sharp chef's knife and smooth, even strokes.
3. Arrange the slices in a fanned out array on a cutting board or warmed serving platter and place the skin, broken into individual portion-sized pieces, into a serving vessel. Add a little pitcher of basic gravy made with chicken stock that you've fortified by simmering with the turkey breastbone.
4. If you want to get extra fancy, you can plate up individual portions of turkey and skin for each guest.
Turkey done right. Every time.
Follow this step-by-step guide to nail perfect turkey and take the stress away from getting everything done just right. You can check out the sous vide turkey breast recipe here
, also available on the Anova App
, as well as find more Thanksgiving meal ideas on the Anova Recipe Site
, and in our comprehensive guide to throwing successful sous vide Thanksgiving
. Be sure to tag all your holiday creations with #anovafoodnerd to share with everyone!