If you're worried you won't have enough meat for next-day sandwiches or you simply don't want to bother with a giant turkey, the bone-in breast is your ticket. With no basting or babysitting, it's the path of least resistance to juicy, flavorful meat, impressive enough to earn applause but foolproof enough to supplement a whole bird. The breast goes into the oven at a relatively high temperature to take on some color, then finishes low and slow for extreme juiciness.
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
- ⅓ cup Diamond Crystal or ¼ cup Morton kosher salt
- 1 6-lb. skin-on, bone-in turkey breast, patted dry
Coarsely grind coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and peppercorns in spice mill or with mortar and pestle. (If you don’t have either, you can always chop with a chef’s knife.) Place salt and brown sugar in a medium bowl and work together with your fingers until incorporated. Stir in ground spices.
Place turkey on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. (If you don’t have this setup, place your turkey on a V-shape rack set inside a large roasting pan.) Sprinkle dry brine all over both sides of turkey breast, patting to adhere. You won’t need all of the dry brine, but it’s good to have extra since some of it will end up on the baking sheet as you season the turkey breast. Chill, uncovered, at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.
Remove turkey breast from wire rack and rinse baking sheet and rack if needed (turkey will most likely release some liquid onto pan). Line baking sheet with 3 layers of foil and set rack back inside. Place turkey breast back on rack and let sit at room temperature 2–3 hours.
Place an oven rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°. Pour 1 cup water into baking sheet.
Roast turkey breast, rotating pan halfway through, until skin is mostly golden brown all over, about 30 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300° and continue to roast turkey breast, adding more water by ½-cupfuls as needed to maintain some liquid in baking sheet, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 150° (don’t worry; the temperature will continue to climb while the turkey breast rests), 50–70 minutes longer. Skin should be deep golden brown and crisp. Transfer turkey breast to a cutting board and let rest at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before slicing.