A Nutritious Holiday Recipe from New York Methodist Hospital

Dec 11, 2007

While the holidays are a time for feasting and celebrating, it's still important to eat healthy.  To help our community enjoy winter holiday meals that will not put them "under the weather,  dieticians from New York Methodist Hospital's Department of Food and Nutrition Services suggest the recipe that follows.  Even though this heart-healthy entrée is low in fat, calories and sodium, it's still a tasty main dish.  The fresh thyme enhances the flavor of the meat, while the juices from the fruit slices ensure that the turkey will be juicy and tender.

  • Citrus and Herb Turkey Breast 
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thick slices                             
  • 1/2 tsp. salt   
  • 1 large celery rib, roughly diced                                
  • 8-10 fresh thyme sprigs  
  • 1 large leek, sliced thin, lengthwise                            
  • 4 thin lemon slices    
  • 1 large onion, cut into small chunks                           
  • 2 thin orange slices   
  • 1 small whole turkey breast, with ribs                       
  • Canola oil spray   
  • 1 cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth

1.  Set a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bottom of a roasting pan, arrange the carrots, celery, leek and onion to serve as a bed for the turkey.

2.  Slide one hand under the turkey breast skin near the neck and gently pry it from the meat.  Use the other hand to gently lift up the skin until all the breast skin is loosened from the meat.

3.  Sprinkle the salt on the exposed breast meat, then add the thyme. On one side of the breast, insert a lemon slice, slipping it to the back. Add an orange slice to the same side, then a second lemon slice, keeping the herbs underneath the citrus. Repeat on the other side of the breast. Gently pull the loosened skin back in place and pat it down so it almost reaches the neck.

4.  Coat the skin with cooking spray and set the breast on the bed of vegetables. Place the pan on the oven rack and add broth. Roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees. Remove the breast to a platter and let it rest 20 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, pour the juices from the pan into a measuring cup. Chill to allow fat to rise. Transfer vegetables to a blender and purée.  Skim the congealed fat and stir in the vegetable juice, then reheat.

6.  Remove the skin, citrus and herbs from the turkey and carve into slices to serve with juices.

Recipe yields six servings.  Each serving provides: Calories 180; Protein 36 g; Sodium 358 mg; Carbohydrate 6 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Total Fat 1 g; Saturated Fat 0 gram.