Dinner Recipes

Airline Turkey Breast & Roasted Vegetables

Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away! Attention jet-setters: this irresistible turkey dinner will have you singing Frank Sinatra all night long. It’s called “airline” because the boneless, skin-on turkey breast comes with the drumstick still attached. Back in the heyday of in-flight meals, chicken dinners were served this way because it was easier for passengers to use the drumstick as a handle to pick up the meat. (Some people think the cut actually resembles an airplane, too!)

While we’re probably not going to attempt to lift up an entire turkey breast up by its leg, we’re definitely adding this recipe to our holiday plans. It’s the perfect size for a small family, or for Friendsgiving with your nearest and dearest: there’s no giant bird to wrangle, and you won’t be eating leftovers for the rest of your life.

First, we plunge the turkey breast into a rich brine made with pungent garlic, earthy thyme and rosemary, spicy peppercorns, and of course, salt and sugar. Then, we brush it with herbed lemon butter and roast it with a medley of Brussels sprouts, potatoes, shallots, and whole garlic cloves. In the oven, the veggies soak up all that luscious lemon-garlic flavor, while the turkey gets nice and crispy on the outside and oh-so tender on the inside — it practically melts in your mouth.

Our tip: Our meat cutters would be happy to cut your turkey breasts airline-style. Just stop by the meat counter at your neighborhood Gelson’s and ask!

Airline Turkey Breast & Roasted Vegetables



Airline Turkey Breast & Roasted Vegetables

Serves: 6


For the brine:

4 cups water
¾ cup kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp Gelson’s black peppercorns
2 Gelson’s bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled
5 Gelson’s organic fresh thyme sprigs
1 Gelson’s organic fresh rosemary sprig
8 cups ice
2 5-lb airline turkey breasts

For the roasted turkey and vegetables:

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from ½ lemon
1 ½ tsp chopped Gelson’s organic fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped Gelson’s organic fresh rosemary
½ tsp chopped Gelson’s organic fresh sage
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground Gelson’s black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 lb Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 lb baby red potatoes, quartered
5 shallots, trimmed and halved
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 Tbsp Gelson’s 100% California extra virgin olive oil
Chopped Gelson’s organic fresh parsley, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for garnish


  1. To brine the turkey: In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil then turn off the heat. Whisk in the salt and sugar until dissolved. Add the peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.

  2. In a large container, stir together the brine and ice until fully melted. Submerge the turkey breast in the brine and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400º. In a small bowl, stir together the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

  4. Remove the turkey breast from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and black pepper.

  5. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 turkey breast skin side down and sear until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the breast to a rimmed sheet pan, skin side up, and repeat with the remaining breast.

  6. Brush the turkey breasts with ¼ of the lemon butter. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

  7. In a medium bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts, potatoes, shallots, and garlic cloves with the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Scatter the vegetables on the sheet pan and brush the turkey with another ¼ of the lemon butter.

  8. Continue roasting and brushing the turkey with the lemon butter every 20 minutes until the internal temperature reads 165º on an instant-read thermometer and the vegetables are tender and crispy, about 1 hour.

  9. Tent the turkey with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes.

  10. Transfer the vegetables, turkey, and pan sauce to a serving platter. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges and serve hot.

Recipe adapted from: Craving Tasty

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