Though I’ve lived in California for almost a decade now, there are still occasions when you can see my Southern roots. It mostly shines through in my cooking, but also sometimes in my accent after I’ve had a few drinks. 😉
When I don’t go home for the Holidays, I like to incorporate a few dishes that bring a piece of the South to my mouth. Sometimes I make a Cajun Turkey, but this year I thought I’d try something different.
My mother had recently told me how sweet tea brined chicken is very popular. I was very intrigued at the thought, but wasn’t planning on roasting chicken anytime soon. I did, however, have another bird that I needed to do something with…
And thus this recipe for Southern Sweet Tea Brined Turkey Breast was born. This brine is really easy to put together and makes the turkey oh-so-tender. It practically fell apart when I was trying to slice it. If you’ve ever suffered from dry turkey, I’m writing you a prescription for this sweet tea brine recipe!
A whole turkey is just way too much meat for a few people so I chose to do a breast. If you want to brine an entire turkey, all you need to do is double this recipe.
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- 3–5lb Boneless Turkey Breast
- 1/2 – 1 gallon water
- 6 Lipton Tea Bags
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Salt
- 1/2 Vidalia Onion, sliced thin
- 1 Lemon, sliced thin
- 1 Orange, sliced thin
- 1/2 Tbsp Peppercorns (I used Hawaiian Rainbow)
- 4 Garlic Cloves, sliced thin
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add tea bags, turn off and let steep 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat back on medium-high. Add the salt and brown sugar. Stir until completely dissolved.
- Add onion, lemon, orange, and garlic.
- Remove from heat. Add peppercorns. Let cool.
- Once brine has cooled completely, put your turkey breast in a turkey bag and cover with the sweet tea brine. If the brine does not completely cover the turkey, add some extra water.
- Secure bag and refrigerate submersed in the brine for 12-24 hours.
- Remove turkey from the sweet tea brine. Rinse, then pat dry. (It is important to pat dry so the skin gets a nice crispy skin when cooking!)
- Place turkey in a baking dish (mine fit perfectly in a 9×9). It is optional, but you can place additional freshly sliced lemons and oranges around the turkey to help keep it juicy.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the top of your turkey breast. Sprinkle a little salt and crack some fresh pepper over the top.
- Roast at 450F for about 40-60 minutes, until the internal temperature reads 170F.
- Let rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- Calories: 254