Honey Glazed Turkey Breast Brined
Orange Honey Glazed Turkey Breast
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
8 hrs
Total Time
10 hrs 30 mins

This Orange Honey Glazed Turkey Breast is moist, juicy, and delicious! It's brined overnight for extra flavor and juiciness, and brushed with an amazing orange honey glaze as it roasts.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brined turkey breast, honey glazed turkey breast, orange glazed turkey
Servings: 8 people
Author: Tania
  • 8 cups cold water, divided
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • A few bunches of fresh thyme
  • 4 cups ice
  • 6-7 pound turkey breast, bone-in and skin-on (safely thawed, see note)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (1/2 teaspoon if using dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 tablespoon if using dried)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 4-8 cups chicken broth for pan (only if using roasting pan with a rack)
Orange Honey Glaze
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 2/3 cup sweet orange marmalade (not the bitter kind)
  • 4 teaspoons honey (plus more if desired)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 medium navel oranges, small diced (flesh only)
The day before, brine the turkey breast:
  1. Pour 6 cups of very cold water into a large pot or container large enough for the turkey breast to submerge. Set aside. You can also use a brining bag.

  2. To a medium saucepan, add the remaining 2 cups water, and the rest of the brine ingredients: Kosher salt, brown sugar, smashed garlic, lemon slices, orange slices, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes until dissolved and fragrant. Add this brine "concentrate" to the pot or container with the 6 cups of cold water.

  3. Add the ice to cool it down faster. The brine should be cold. If not, refrigerate the brine for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Once the brine is cold, add the turkey and use something to weigh it down so it stays submerged. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Note: over-brining will make the turkey very salty - brine for 8 hours, max about 15 hours.

The day of, make the glaze:
  1. In a saucepan, bring all the orange honey glaze ingredients to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Set aside half of the glaze for brushing the turkey and the other half for serving.

The day of, prepare the turkey breast:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. If needed or desired, remove the backbone (use kitchen shears or a sharp knife) and flatten the turkey breast a little bit by pressing down.

  3. Make the butter: in a bowl, combine 6 tablespoons softened butter, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

  4. Remove turkey breast from brine and rinse it, being careful not to splash water everywhere. Thoroughly pat the turkey dry with paper towel. Note: pat it dry twice if needed to remove excess moisture. Excess moisture will make it harder for the turkey breast to brown in the oven.

  5. Rub turkey all over with the prepared butter, including the under the skin. To rub the butter under the skin, simply lift the skin and move your hands inwards, carefully detaching some of the skin from the flesh, and rubbing the butter in.

  6. Transfer turkey to a roasting pan with a rack. Drizzle turkey with some olive oil and gently spread over the turkey. If using a roasting pan with a rack, pour 1-2 cups chicken broth over the pan, or until it's about 1/4 inch deep. This will prevent the drippings from burning.

  7. Roast uncovered for 1 hour 20 minutes. It should start browning after about 1 hour or so. As it roasts, you may need to refill the pan with more broth as needed.

  8. After the 1 hour and 20 minutes, brush the turkey with the orange honey glaze and return to oven to continue roasting for 10 minutes. Repeat this process 2-3 more times, or until internal temperature registers 165 F. Cooking time depends on the size of the turkey breast, and should take about 15 minutes per pound. My 7.11 lb turkey breast took 1 hour and 55 minutes. Tent with foil if it is getting too brown.

  9. Let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving in order to let the juices redistribute. Serve along with the remaining glaze. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes