This is actually more of a cooking technique rather than a recipe in itself. It has become one of my staples over the years. I chose to emphasize the use of turkey meat instead of chicken because I believe turkey meat needs to be promoted a little bit more especially in my country. Most people do not enjoy it only because they do not know how to cook it! 

Dieting doesn’t mean food has to be dull or boring! You can have healthy, tasty and good-looking food all at the same time. Here’s one of my favorite diet lunches; poached turkey breast served with charred red pepper & garlic sauce with buckwheat pilaf cooked in poaching liquid, and tossed green salad.

I love to serve my poached turkey breast as a cold meat dish with steamed or sautéed vegetables. I also find it to be a perfect meat for homemade delicious sandwiches. And I find it particularly tasty, cut into cubes  and added to a salad with any form of creamy dressing! It is also one of my absolute best foods to have handy when I’m dieting.  I should also note that I always save the poaching liquid to cook some buckwheat, bulghur or rice pilaf or to make a nice clear soup with. Last but not least I should mention that basically I do only a few things differently than the original recipe the link to which you will find below. First of all, I let the water with the aromatics simmer for about 15 minutes before I place the meat into the pan. This allows all the ingredients to thoroughly release their flavors into the water. Also I use a pot or skillet with lid, which I leave slightly ajar during the cooking time, and I prolong the cooking time for turkey breast as compared to chicken breast. And of course you can always let your imagination and taste buds guide you to use various other aromatics. Ginger or turmeric, and maybe some orange rind and other herbs like sage or tarragon? You can just suit yourself… So then, shall we get on with it and cook some moist, tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious turkey breast? : ) 



  • 1 whole turkey breast, about 800 gr or ca.1,75 pounds (boneless and skinless)
  • 1 tbsp rock salt or coarse sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and halved
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • Juice and rind of half a lemon
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Black and white peppercorns
  • Celery stalk
  • A few pieces of dried chili pepper pieces

Step by step method

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  1. Make sure to take your meat out of the fridge and let it rest at room temperature at least for half an hour before cooking.

  2. Place all ingredients except for the turkey breast and lemon juice into a large but not too deep pot or skillet with lid. The salt may seem a little too much for some people but keep in mind that you will not use any additional salt while serving this meat.
  3. Cover the aromatics with water, but leave some space for the volume of the meat. Cover pot with lid and bring the water to a boil over high heat.  Once it starts boiling lower heat and leave to gently simmer for about 15 minutes.

  4. At the end of 15 minutes gently place the meat into the water and add the lemon juice. This should stop the boiling, which is exactly what we want. Now place lid on but make sure to leave it slightly ajar. The cooking liquid should remain at a slow simmer stage and never go bubbling up!
  5. Leave to cook for 20 minutes then flip over the meat and cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes. At the end of the cooking time take the meat out onto a cutting board and leave to cool a little before slicing it.
  6. Strain the cooking liquid immediately and place about half a cup into a preferably glass container, in which you can keep your meat for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
  7. Cut thin or thicker slices according to your preference and serve either warm or cold.

Bon Appétit!

(For original recipe in English please refer to Martha Stewart’s Basic Poached Chicken recipe.)