Poached & Butter Basted Turkey Breast

Every year I consider cooking something a little different for the main feast on Christmas Day, but year after year I return to the tradition that is turkey and ham. A number of years back I steered a little away from tradition and in place of roasting a whole turkey, I opted for a turkey breast and simply poached it and then butter-basted it in a pan before serving. I had seen Richard Corrigan demonstrating the same on a Christmas special and decided it was worth a try. The results were incredible. The meat was deliciously succulent and moist, and I found we were left without a scrap of waste. Poaching the turkey is also a wonderful way to keep the oven free for the many turkey accompaniments.
Happy Christmas!

Poached & Butter Basted Turkey Breast

To Poach:
1 large turkey breast, weighing about 3kg 
1.5 lt chicken stock
200ml white wine
3 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped

To Baste:
100g butter


1. Weigh the turkey breast.
2. Place the stock, white wine, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, onion, carrots, and celery into a large saucepan and then add the turkey breast. Top up with enough water to cover the breast.
3. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat. Allow to simmer for 20 mins per 450g of meat. A 3 kg breast would take just about 2 hours 40 minutes to poach.  Adding more hot water to the saucepan as necessary
4. Remove the breast from the saucepan and allow to rest, covered with tinfoil, for 10 minutes. Reserve the stock to use in another dish or soup.
5. Heat a large frying pan or a roasting tin that is suitable for use on a hob. Add the butter and once it begins to froth place the breast into the frying pan skin side down. Keep turning the breast until all sides are nicely browned, which will take about 15 minutes.
6. Allow to rest on a plate covered with tinfoil, for about 20 mins, before carving.