Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

by Anne Bennett on October 13, 2010

I served this with roasted root vegetables and broccoli.

I’m really getting into the slow cooker phenomenon. And it is a phenomenon, considering all the slow cooker cookbooks that line the shelves at bookstores.  Most of them are of the “set it and forget it” genre: you dump in a bunch of ingredients, many of them canned, flip the switch and let them cook together all day.

Sometimes this works, as with chili, while at other times you end up with an edible, albeit overcooked, dinner. I’m not into the merely edible. If what I cook doesn’t taste flat-out delicious I consider it a waste of my time in the kitchen. After all, I can get mediocre food at any restaurant.

The slow cooker is a tricky appliance. If you use it correctly and don’t expect it to work miracles, you can turn out some really good meals. Case in point: this turkey breast, which comes from Cooking Light’s  “Slow Cooker” cookbook. I had modest expectations for this, but I was pleasantly surprised at how moist and flavorful the turkey came out. And the leftovers have sliced easily for sandwiches.

Why cook a turkey breast in a slow cooker rather than in the oven? Good question. The oven gives you a nice browned color; the slow cooker allows you to leave the house for hours. Take your pick. Right now, my house is under renovation and the kitchen is filled with a light layer of sheetrock dust, so the slow cooker is my cooking mode of choice.

Word to the wise: it’s very, very easy to overcook poultry in a slow cooker.  Check it with an instant-read thermometer about an hour before the end of cooking time and pull it out when it reads 160 degrees in the center of the breast. Also, Cooking Light advises cutting any piece of poultry over three pounds in half to ensure even cooking. I asked my butcher to cut the whole breast in half for me.

1 (5-lb.) turkey breast, skinned and cut in half
2 t. lemon pepper
2 T. flour
3 T. water

Sprinkle each half of the turkey evenly with lemon pepper and place into the slow cooker with the meaty sides down. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW and cook 5 hours or until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees. Remove turkey to a platter and cover with foil.

Strain cooking liquid into a small saucepan and remove as much fat as you can with a spoon. Combine flour and water thoroughly and slowly stir into the liquid. Bring to a boil and gently simmer until liquid thickens. Serve with turkey.

Note: Some of the newer slow cookers cook at a slightly higher temperature. My turkey was done at about 4 1/2 hours.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda October 16, 2010 at 5:13 am

As usual, good info here, Anne! Would you recommend the Cooking Light’s Slow Cooker cookbook? Which slow cooker cookbook is your favorite?

Thanks for all the great recipes and info!

Lavon Bernhard February 1, 2013 at 12:51 am

You article is well written. I enjoy reading your blog.

Meghann Anguiano February 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

This is just amazing. I wish I could do the same.

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