This molasses soy brined turkey breast recipe has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SeasonYourHolidays #CollectiveBias
So many things go into a holiday meal. There are usually endless sides and way too many dishes for one plate. Green bean casserole, anyone? Yet, a lot still depends on the turkey. Your guests might forget about your lackluster mashed potatoes, because they will undoubtedly be drenched in delicious gravy (unless they’re your favorite pumpkin mashed potatoes), but they will definitely remember if your turkey is bland or dry.
That’s where brining comes in. It plumps up the meat with lots of moisture and flavor, making it almost impossible to screw up the turkey. There are plenty of turkey brine recipes out there, but I love adding unexpected flavors to my brines to shake things up a bit, especially with traditional holiday meals. This time, I used molasses and Kikkoman® Soy Sauce from Walmart to create a simple, yet familiar twist.
I know Kikkoman® Soy Sauce can seem a little weird, especially if you’ve only used it in Asian inspired recipes, but it’s actually really easy to use this ingredient in mainstream recipes. In fact, it provides a much needed umami to the recipe. If you’re worried about your sodium intake, you can easily switch to Kikkoman® Less Sodium Soy Sauce without sacrificing flavor.
What to serve with molasses soy brined turkey breast
To go with this molasses soy brined turkey breast, I wanted to create a quick and simple stovetop stuffing. Continuing my theme of simple twists on traditional recipes, I decided to use Kikkoman® Panko Bread Crumbs instead of traditional bread cubes for my stuffing. I know it sounds strange, but this style of breadcrumbs really holds its structure, which keeps it from getting mushy when mixed with liquids. I kept the flavorful, savory ingredients of traditional stuffing, and I added toasted pecan pieces for added crunch and weight. You could easily swap walnuts or another nut if you want.
The panko stuffing is made completely on the stovetop, but I like to pop it into the oven once I take the turkey out to create a nice crust. To do this, make sure you use an oven safe dish, like a cast iron or other oven proof skillet.
As for the gravy, I cheated. The turkey was so juicy that it didn’t really need gravy, but it’s hard to imagine Thanksgiving without gravy, so I used a gravy packet. Luckily, I’ve found a brand that doesn’t contain dairy, which can be hard to find. So, I’m currently testing recipes for creating homemade, dairy free gravy packets, and I’ll report back as soon as I have something worth sharing.
A quick word of caution: Do not buy a self-basting turkey breast for this recipe. Read your labels and make sure your turkey breast is completely natural. It should not have any brining solution added to it. There should be no ingredients listed other than turkey. Otherwise, you’ll end up with the saltiest turkey breast you’ve ever tasted. Trust me. I’ve made this mistake before, and it’s really disappointing. A fresh turkey breast would be ideal, but they can be hard to find. So make sure you read your labels.
Herb Panko Stuffing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cup)
- 2 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 6 tablespoons pecan pieces
- 1 teaspoon each: rubbed sage, dried thyme, crushed rosemary, dried tarragon
- 1 8-ounce package Kikkoman® Panko Breadcrumbs
- 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (or turkey broth)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium-high. Add onion, celery and pecans. Sauté stirring occasionally, until translucent.
- Add spices and breadcrumbs, stirring to coat in oil mixture. Add broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, until desired texture has been reached. Stir in egg, parsley, salt and pepper, until evenly combined. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until egg has set, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to oven to brown top (optional, but be sure to use oven proof skillet or dish), about 10 minutes.