Crockpot Lemon Herb Turkey is the kind of summer recipe I make over and over again. It takes no work, doesn’t heat up the kitchen and is carb free.
Calling it a “recipe” is a stretch – it’s more of a simple technique that results in lightly flavored, moist white meat.
I created this recipe-technique last summer when my herb garden went nuts, overflowing with parsley, basil, oregano, tarragon and rosemary. I used a handful of herbs when I baked salmon, but I wanted another way to use them, preferably without heating up the kitchen.
While I normally like to roast turkey and chicken breasts, I knew that cooking either in a crockpot would keep the meat moist. One hot summer afternoon, I had no idea of what to serve for dinner. I had a turkey breast, herbs in the garden and lemons in the fridge. I scattered chopped herbs over the turkey, then topped with lemon slices and fresh ground pepper.
It took about 10 minutes to prepare the turkey, including the time it took to pick fresh rosemary.
The cooked meat had the slightest flavor of citrus and herbs, just enough to make it more interesting than regular turkey breast. The next week, I subbed whole, bone-in chicken breast, with equally good results.
Because the turkey breast is cooked in a crockpot, it is not brown when done. Nevertheless, it is very good thinly sliced and served as a dinner entree. To brighten the presentation, just use colorful sides, or serve with lemons and herbs as a garnish.
Lemon herb turkey breast also makes good sandwiches and chicken salad. Or, cube the cooked meat and serve it on romaine lettuce with red and orange pepper slices. Try a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
The time to cook the chicken or turkey breast will vary, depending on meat size and whether the crockpot is set on “low” or “high.”
Use an instant read kitchen thermometer for best results when cooking poultry. When the meat reaches 165 F, (please, don’t overcook!) remove from crockpot, cool for 20-30 minutes then wrap well and refrigerate. To keep meat especially moist, slice only when ready to serve.
Make sure to add about a half-cup water to the crockpot; this will help meat stay moist while cooking.
Use whatever combination of herbs you fancy. If you do not have a herb garden, buy a fresh bunch of rosemary, oregano or basil at the grocery. If you have a neighbor who grows herbs, ask for a handful.
Chances are, she will be delighted you asked.