TT Tip: To serve a crowd (or ensure you have enough turkey leftover for sandwiches after the big event), simply roast two turkey breasts at once (and for smaller turkey breasts, simply reduce the amount of pastrami rub for curing). To make the turkey ahead of time, let it cool after roasting, then wrap the whole breast snugly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in a warm oven and then slice.

Pastrami-Cured Turkey Breast

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: Serves 8 (with leftovers)

Cook Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes (plus 2 days to cure before roasting)


1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds

2 tablespoons roughly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

One 4 to 4½-pound boneless skin-on turkey breast

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1. In a small skillet set over medium heat, add the coriander seeds and mustard seeds and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn out onto a medium plate to cool and then add to a spice grinder (or coffee mill) along with the black pepper. Pulse until roughly ground, about ten 1-second pulses. Add the brown sugar and salt and pulse to combine.

2. Set the turkey breast on a cutting board, Rub the breast w the ith the olive oil and then pat on the spice mixture, evenly coating the turkey breast on all sides. Snugly wrap the turkey breast in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days.

3. Preheat the oven to 325°. Unwrap the turkey breast and place it skin-side up in a baking dish. Roast the turkey breast until its temperature registers between 140° and 150°, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven, turn the broiler to high and brush the melted butter over the top of the turkey breast.

4. Return the turkey to the oven and broil until the crust is sizzling and golden-brown, 2 to 5 minutes (watch the turkey closely as broiler intensities vary). Remove from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Thinly slice crosswise and against the grain. Serve warm.

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