Turkey Breast in Cocotte

Cocotte is simply a French word for what we call a Dutch Oven. My wife doesn’t care so much for turkey skin but love rich moist turkey breast. This recipe essentially slow cooks and steams the turkey so it remains moist and develops a great flavor. Added bonus is all the vegetables cook to a deep fond which is your basis for the gravy.


  • 1 (6- to 7-pound) whole bone-in turkey breast, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth


Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown turkey on all sides, about 12 minutes; transfer to large plate.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, return turkey, breast side up, to pot along with any accumulated juices.

Fit large piece of aluminum foil over pot, ­pressing to seal, then cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until turkey registers 160 degrees, about 2 hours.
Carefully remove pot from oven. Transfer turkey to carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest while making gravy.

Being careful of hot pot handles, bring remaining juices and vegetables to simmer over medium-high heat and cook until nearly all liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until browned, 1 to 3 minutes. Slowly add broth, whisking constantly to smooth out any lumps. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring often, until gravy is thickened and measures about 1-1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Strain gravy through fine-mesh strainer and season with salt and pepper to taste.