This Whole30 turkey breast and gravy is epic: brined to perfection with an herb butter stuffed under the skin (using ghee, of course)! It’s my perfect Thanksgiving turkey made Whole30 Thanksgiving compliant, and it’s a must for any paleo Thanksgiving or Whole30 Thanksgiving! This Whole30 turkey breast and gravy might actually become your favorite turkey recipe…
I’ve been working on this ultimate turkey recipe for years.
Even before we hosted Thanksgiving on our own, I ended up on turkey duty years back. Having volleyed the task back and forth between them over the years, my parents had long tired of the weighty responsibility and scrutiny that comes with masterminding the primo dish at the biggest food-centric holiday in America.
Well, the white meat was so dry…
Well, if someone hadn’t deep fried the entire thing…
Well, if maybe the cook actually used a little salt now and again…
Well, if maybe you hadn’t lit the entire thing on fire…
Why’s the carpet all wet, Todd?
I don’t know, Margo!
You know, petty stuff. Back and forth between them, the non-cook never satisfied with their day of relaxation (Dear Thanksgiving Day of Relaxation, miss you always), always insistent on picking on the other out of defensiveness of their last year’s turkeys memories.
So eventually I took over, an impartial third party immune to poultry critique. I started with a simple recipe but was unsatisfied. As the years went on, I researched and researched, integrating new techniques and more key ingredients to produce the perfect bird. The recipe is in my free ebook The Complete and Total Guide to Thanksgiving, which you can download by joining my mailing list here!
It’s got absolutely everything you need to positively destroy Thanksgiving this year, from a weeks-out timeline to a minute-by-minute schedule the day of, what you can make ahead of time, what you need to make right then and there. Plus tried-and-true recipes for every single course, plus my epic turkey recipe. You’ve got to check it out!
What Makes This Recipe So Good
So when I wanted to make a Whole30 turkey breast with gravy (or perfect paleo turkey breast!), I knew I had to take what makes my regular turkey so special and make it compliant (and, hey, smaller, since there are usually fewer of us on a Whole30 at Thanksgiving!).
Herb butter under the skin.
Perfection. Every time.
Don’t skip the brining with this Whole30 turkey breast and gravy! Poultry dries out when cooking pretty easily, since you cook it all the way through, and that’s especially true for larger pieces. And don’t skip the herb butter either! It imparts the entire breast with a moist and heady infusion, and the richness of the thyme is too good to pass up. It all goes perfectly with my Whole30 Thanksgiving recipes series, so check those out, too!
To make this Whole30 turkey breast and gravy, I used…
For the Turkey Breast
- 5 tablespoons ghee divided
- 3 cloves garlic cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
- 1 whole turkey breast skin-on
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Brine
- 9 cups water
- ½ cup salt
- 1 spring fresh thyme
- 3 cloves garlic mashed
For the Gravy
- ¼ cup drippings from pan or ghee
- ½ of one onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups turkey stock
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower fresh or frozen
- 4 tablespoons arrowroot
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos to taste
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Make the brine: Stir together all ingredients until salt is totally dissolved. Pour brine into large food storage container or Ziploc bag and place turkey breast in brine. Seal completely and refrigerate 12 hours.
- Drain brine and let turkey breast dry until very dry. Pat dry with paper towels if necessary.
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Mix 3 tablespoons ghee, garlic, and thyme in food processor. Carefully, using your fingers, peel the skin away from the chicken breast and rub the butter mixture under the skin. If necessary, depending on your turkey breast, tie breast with kitchen twine to keep the breast tight. Rub the outside of the skin with the remaining 2 tablespoons ghee and season with salt and pepper.
- In a roasting pan, fitted with a rack, place turkey, breast side up. Roast 1 hour then baste with any drippings. Roast another 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reads 160º F. Remove from oven, loosely tent turkey with foil, and let rest while you make the gravy.
- Heat drippings or ghee over medium heat, in your roasting pan or in a saucepan if desired. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and start to brown. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in cauliflower, thyme sprigs, and turkey stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer until cauliflower is fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove thyme stems.
- Transfer mixture to blender and blend until smooth.
- In a small bowl, add arrowroot powder and a little water. Whisk until smooth, adding a little more water if needed. Return gravy to saucepan or roasting pan and stir in arrowroot slurry. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened. Add coconut aminos for color and taste, plus salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
- Add coconut aminos for color and taste, plus salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.