Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active Time
40 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 40 Mins
Serves 12 (serving size: 4 oz. turkey and about 1/3 cup gravy)

Guests will swoon—we know we did—over this masterful turkey breast. Caramelized onions start as the bed for the turkey, then become the base for a simple gravy that mimics all the best qualities of a rich French onion soup. Don’t fret if the sliced onions overflow from the pan at first; cooked slowly, they will collapse to a fraction of their original volume. A bone-in breast is key here; the bone keeps the meat moist and props up the breast in the pan so it can brown evenly. Save the bone for turkey stock.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Step 2

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onions; sauté 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in 3 tablespoons thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 10 minutes. Add wine to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onions are browned. Spread onion mixture in bottom of a roasting pan.

Step 3

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon thyme, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, butter, and pepper in bowl. Loosen skin from breast by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub butter mixture under skin. Arrange breast, skin side up, over onion mixture. Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes. Pour 2/3 cup stock over turkey.

Step 4

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake at 350°F for 1 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 160°F, pouring about 2/3 cup stock over breast every 20 minutes (about 4 times, using all the stock before the end). Place turkey on a cutting board. Let stand, loosely covered with foil, 15 minutes (internal temperature will rise to 165°F).

Step 5

Place roasting pan on burner over medium-high. Combine sherry and flour in a bowl. Stir sherry mixture into onion mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until reduced to about 6 cups. Stir in parsley. Serve gravy with turkey. Remove skin before serving.

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