Braised Turkey Breast with Cranberry Relish

Turkey, as with other poultry, is a source of lean protein. Braising is an excellent method for cooking turkey because it keeps the meat moist. Turkey goes well with cranberries, a combination that is popular at Thanksgiving. The cranberry relish is a great alternative to cranberry sauce, which usually is loaded with sugar.  Servings: 12


Photo by Molly Wizenberg


  • 1 split (half) turkey breast, with skin
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 bunch chives, chopped, for garnish


  • 1/2 cup raisins, soaked in water for 1 hour to soften, then drained
  • 6 oz frozen cranberries, fresh if in season
  • 2 small or 1 large orange, zested and supremed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt


1. De-bone the turkey breast and season with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. When it foams, place the turkey breast, skin side down, in the pan and brown the turkey for a few minutes on both sides. Remove turkey and saute the onion in same pan until translucent.

2. Stir in garlic, stock, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, return turkey to pan, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the turkey is cooked through but still tender. Check every 10 minutes to make sure that the turkey doesn’t get dry.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the cranberry relish dish. Place all of the ingredients, including the orange zest and flesh, in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Set aside.

4. When the turkey is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it rest. Turn the heat up and reduce the stock, until it becomes a thick sauce and coats the onions. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and remove the bay leaf.

5. Thinly slice the turkey and place on a platter. Pour the onion mixture on top and sprinkle with the chopped chives. Serve the relish alongside the turkey.