Healthier Plate

The Healthier Plate: Breast-Down Roast Turkey

Nov 17, 2015

By Kyle Rose, RD, LD

Weight loss surgery means a change in your lifestyle, including your diet. Once your doctor has cleared you to start eating solid foods, you’ll have some changes to make in the kinds of foods you eat to help keep you on track on your weight loss journey.

The best foods to eat following weight loss surgery are high in protein and low in fat and sugar. The Nicholson Clinic is devoted to helping our patients develop a healthy lifestyle post surgery.

Breast-Down Roast Turkey

12 to 15 pound fresh turkey
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 apple cut into wedges
2 carrots, sliced
Sprigs of fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary – they often have a poultry mix of fresh herbs


Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange the cut vegetables and apple slices in the bottom of a sturdy roasting pan and scatter the fresh herb sprigs over the top.

Place the turkey breast side down on the vegetables as a bed to hold up the turkey and to catch drippings for the gravy. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for ½ hour at 400° F, then reduce the heat to 300° F and continue roasting until done. Estimated cooking time is about 15 minutes per pound. Thirty minutes before the turkey should be done as per your estimate, start taking temperature readings with a meat thermometer, inserted deep into the thickest part of the thigh.

Remove from oven when the dark meat in the thigh registers 170°F. The temperature will continue to increase to 175°F once you remove it from the oven as the heat continues to cook the turkey.

Allow the turkey to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Turn the turkey breast side up and discard the skin.

Carve as desired.

Pour pan drippings into a large wire strainer set over a large bowl and press down on the warm soft vegetable solids to extract flavor. Skim off as much fat as possible. Use as is, or bring to a boil and thicken using 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in ¼ water for each 3 cups pan juices (or chicken stock if needed).