Prep 20 mins
Cook 8 hrs
Easy crock pot recipe that requires a bit of prep but turns out delicious! I created this as an alternative to similar recipes that call for a bottle of Italian dressing, because I prefer to control the ingredients in my recipes. (Does anyone really want to ingest xanthan gum?) Shred the leftovers and use them in all manner of Italian and Mexican dishes! Notes: This recipe requires a large crock pot (I use a 6-qt one). Can be cooked from frozen but doesn't absorb the Italian seasoning as well (because seasonings must be sprinkled atop the skin), and may be difficult to get the lid on the crock pot tightly.
- 1 whole turkey breast, bone-in
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 (1 ounce) packet Italian salad dressing mix (such as Good Seasons)
- Thaw turkey breast in refrigerator. Remaining prep can be done the night before cooking.
- Wash breast and pat dry.
- Set breast on cutting board, meaty side up. (Use dishtowels to help hold turkey breast upright, or get someone to hold it for you.).
- Working from the bottom (pointy) end, use the handle of a wooden spoon or your fingers to separate skin from meat. Do not remove skin. When you are finished, skin should be attached around all sides but loose over the main portion of the breast.
- Using your fingers or a spoon, sprinkle the dry Italian dressing mix underneath the skin onto the breast meat. Try for relatively even coverage, but don't obsess! The flavor will be well-absorbed throughout the breast.
- Massage the skin to grind the seasoning mix into the meat as much as possible.
- Using a meat fork, pierce the breast (through the skin) many times.
- If prepping the night before, wrap breast and refrigerate. Otherwise, proceed to next step.
- Rub olive or canola oil over skin of breast, massaging well.
- Pour water and vinegar into crock pot.
- Place turkey breast skin-side down in crock pot. If necessary, bend or break ribs in order to get lid on tightly. Do not use foil to hold breast upright, as the vinegar will react with the foil. If you have to position breast on its side, see step 13.
- Cook on low setting for 8-10 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers at least 190°F.
- If you had to position the breast on its side, turn breast over once halfway through cooking time OR for several minutes after cooking has finished, so that the top side can marinate in the juices.
- Slice or shred and serve hot with your favorite side dish. Alternatively, cool and shred meat, freezing portions for later use (my favorite use for this recipe!).
I quickly put this together so that my husband and son would have something to eat since I would be out for the night. I added some carrots and onions and used 1/2 a turkey breast, so adjusted seasonings in half. Unfortunately, the vegies had a vinegary taste (which isn't the fault of this recipe since it didn't recommend vegies) and my turkey wasn't very moist. I had left them some gravy on the counter in case this happened, so they put some on top and it tasted fine.
This was delicious! I intended it for sandwich meat, and really had to discipline myself to stop nibbling on it, it was so good. I didn't have the Salad Dressing Mix - I made my own with brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, herbs, etc. and oil. I rubbed this onto the breast. I accidentally removed the skin before reading the directions, so I actually lined the bottom of the crock pot with the skin, which seemed to work out great. I also substituted white wine and apple cider vinegar for the white wine vinegar. After cooking for 10 hours, most of the liquid had evaporated down to about a cup of not-too-greasy juices. I pulled the meat apart with a fork (easy), and poured the juices over that to make up for any dryness in the top portion. It turned out DELICIOUS!!! Highly recommend.