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Here’s How to Make a Succulent Herbed Turkey Breast (with Gravy!) in Your Instant Pot

published Oct 29, 2019
Instant Pot Herbed Turkey Breast with Gravy
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Credit: Photographer: Ghazalle Badiozamani Food Stylist: Brett Regot Props Stylist: Jenna Tedesco

It can be an intimidating choice to take on the Thanksgiving turkey. Managing to cook it and a variety of sides in one oven in just a few hours for a 12-person meal is overwhelming. It’s a lot of food for a lot of people! We’ve all heard our fair share of turkey disaster stories…but that’s not going to happen this year.

Rather, try a new method of cooking your turkey that will free up your oven space and keep your in-laws singing delicious praises. (That alone means you’re already winning.) Use your Instant Pot to cook an incredible turkey breast that doesn’t dry out and is rich in herbaceous flavor. Cooking your turkey in the Instant Pot allows you to “set it and forget it” so you can focus on more important things like the side dishes or even enjoying a glass of wine before dinner. (You can also use your Instant Vortex! Get the recipe for air-fried turkey.)

Credit: Photographer: Ghazalle Badiozamani Food Stylist: Brett Regot Props Stylist: Jenna Tedesco

Enrich the Turkey’s Flavor

I love using the classic herb combo of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme with a little lemon zest to bring out the fresh flavors even more. I rub this mixture under the skin in a butter paste (which makes everything better). The result? A moist turkey that everyone will go bonkers over.

How to Get Crispy Skin in Less Than 10 Minutes

Now, you may think that the pressure cooker doesn’t create that crisp skin as oven roasting does. That’s not the case! Once your turkey has finished cooking in the Instant Pot, preheat the broiler. Pat the turkey very dry and place under the broiler for six to eight minutes, rotating halfway through until skin is crispy and golden brown. It’s a genius solution that takes less than 10 minutes in your oven rather than roasting four hours.

After your guests gobble down the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner, save the carcass to put into your Instant Pot that evening. Add some water and leftover raw carrots, onions, and celery to make turkey stock for a leftover soup that’s just a delicious as your flavorful turkey breast.

Credit: Photographer: Ghazalle Badiozamani Food Stylist: Brett Regot Props Stylist: Jenna Tedesco

Instant Pot Herbed Turkey Breast with Gravy

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the turkey:

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon

    fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tablespoon

    chopped fresh rosemary leaves

  • 1 tablespoon

    chopped fresh sage leaves

  • 1 teaspoon

    finely grated lemon zest

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 1 small

    yellow onion

  • 1 medium

    carrot

  • 1 stalk

    celery

  • 1 cup

    turkey or chicken stock or broth

  • 1 (5-pound)

    bone-in turkey breast

For the gravy:

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the turkey: Place 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium bowl and let sit at room temperature until softened. Prepare the following, adding them to the butter: 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary loaves, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves, 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Add 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the ground black pepper, and stir and smash everything together into a paste.

  2. Prepare the following vegetables and place in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker: Peel and quarter 1 small yellow onion, peel and cut 1 carrot into 1-inch pieces, and cut 1 celery stalk into 1-inch pieces. Add 1 cup turkey or chicken stock. Top with a heatproof rack.

  3. Pat the turkey breast dry with paper towels. Loosen the skin of the turkey breast. Spread the butter mixture in an even layer under the skin. Season the outside of the turkey breast with the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Place the turkey breast on the rack skin-side up.

  4. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve it set to seal. Set to cook on HIGH pressure for 25 to 30 minutes (5 to 6 minutes per pound of turkey). When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure. Remove the lid and check that the turkey registers at least 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer. If not, cook for 5 minutes more under HIGH pressure, then quick release again.

  5. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the broiler. Transfer the turkey breast to a baking sheet skin-side up and pat very dry with paper towels. Broil, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and the skin is crispy, 6 to 8 minutes total. Set aside to rest for 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy.

  6. Make the gravy: Pour the turkey cooking liquid (drippings) through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the contents of the strainer. Using a fat separator or skimming with a spoon, remove the fat from the drippings and discard. Measure out 2 1/4 cups of the remaining drippings (save the rest for another use).

  7. Wipe out the bowl of the Instant Pot, add 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, and melt on the Sauté function. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. While whisking continuously, slowly pour in the drippings, and simmer until the gravy is thickened, about 3 minutes. Turn off the cooker. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.