Part of Tosca Reno’s 3 Hour Thanksgiving Menu!


2 boneless turkey breast halves, skin on (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds each)
1 yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, trimmed and coarsely chopped (please keep the leaves on the stalks)
4 cloves garlic
1 lemon, scrubbed clean
Handful fresh sage leaves
Large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, plus more as needed
6 fresh bay leaves or 10 dried ones
4 tablespoons butter
4 tbsp pesto (store bought or homemade)
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a rack in a roasting pan and arrange the bay leaves on top of the rack.
2. Put the onion, celery and garlic into the bowl of a food processor.
3. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the lemon in thin strips. Add the lemon zest to the food processor.
4. Keep the peeled lemon for later use.
5. Pulse onion, celery, garlic and lemon zest until fine.
6. Add the sage, parsley, olive oil, and 1 teaspoon seat salt.
7. Pulse until it forms a coarse paste. Set aside.
8. Make herbed butter by combining 4 tbsp butter with 4 tbsp pesto. Mix well.

Prepare the turkey breasts:
1. Put the turkey breasts on a work surface.
2. Slide fingers between the skin and the flesh but don’t pull it completely off. You are creating a pocket for the stuffing.
3. Stuff half of the sage paste in a thick layer under the skin of each breast, and spread it evenly under the skin.
4. Transfer the breasts to the roasting pan.
5. Take the pesto herbed butter and divide evenly between the two turkey breasts. Using your hands spread the herbed butter over top of each breast.
6. Place the turkey in the oven and immediately reduce temperature to 400 degrees F.
7. Baste the turkey every 20 minutes.
8. Roast for 60 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast reads 170 degrees F.
9. Remove from oven, transfer turkey to large platter and cover. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

The Gravy:
1. Make gravy with pan drippings and hot cooking liquid from boiled potatoes or other vegetables.
2. Into hot pan juices whisk 2 – 3 tbsps flour. When this forms a paste begin to add hot cooking liquids, slowly, whisking all the time until gravy sets up. I like to add a bouillon cube or two to the mixture for more flavor.

Slice the turkey breast on the diagonal, and serve with warm gravy.