Perhaps you are serving a smaller crowd this Thanksgiving, so why wake up at the crack of dawn to roast a whole bird? Here is a recipe for bone-in roast turkey breast brushed with a homemade ancho chile BBQ sauce that’s sweetened with pears. It will fill your house with that familiar, mouth-watering scent of roast turkey but cooks in half the time, plus you’ll get a double dose of luscious pears on your holiday table. Roasting alongside the meat are dainty Seckel pears that soak up the flavor of melted butter and turkey drippings, and become delectably tender and somewhat savoury. The combination is so addictively delicious that you’re sure to see some finger licking at the table.
- Ancho-Pear BBQ Sauce
- 1 large ripe or overripe USA Pear, such as Bartlett or Anjou, seeded and coarsely chopped (unpeeled)
- 2 dried ancho chilies, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- 1 (7- to 8-pound) whole bone-in, skin-on turkey breast, split into 2 halves
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 pounds USA Seckel Pears
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To make the Ancho-Pear BBQ Sauce: Combine the pear, chilies, maple syrup, tomato paste, vinegar, butter, garlic, salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and pour in the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until well combined. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are easily smashed with the back of a spoon and the chiles are softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until smooth, about 1 minute. Cool to room temperature. The sauce can be used immediately or covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- Remove the turkey breasts from refrigeration 1 hour before roasting, pat them dry with paper towels, and place them on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Season generously with the salt, and set aside to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F with a rack in the lower third position.
- Pat the turkey breasts dry again, and rub 2 tablespoons of the butter over and under the skin. Roast the turkey until the skin is light golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.
- Melt the remaining tablespoons of butter. In a medium bowl, toss the Seckel pears in the melted butter and season them with salt and pepper. Arrange the pears on the pan around the turkey breasts. Brush 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce over the skin side of the turkey breasts. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Brush the turkey breasts with another 1/4 cup of sauce, and continue roasting until the internal temperature reaches 150°F on an instant read thermometer when inserted in several places, and the pears are very tender, 30 to 45 more minutes. Depending on their size, the pears may be done roasting before the turkey is cooked through. In that case, remove the pears from the pan as they are done, and continue roasting the turkey. Keep the pears warm in a bowl covered with foil. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- To carve the turkey, cut the meat away from the bone in one large piece using a sharp knife, then cut it crosswise (against the grain) into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the turkey slices on a serving platter with the roasted Seckel pears lining the edges. Serve with the extra BBQ sauce passed at the table.
Thank you to our partner USA pears for generously providing this recipe.