Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast with Cranberry Orange Sauce

Thanksgiving turkey without an oven?  I don’t know if the pilgrims were onto this culinary concept but they theoretically could have been. The pressure cooker was invented in 1679 by French physicist Denis Papin who was attempting to reduce cooking time. And successful he was!! (Yes, leave it to the French! Although I’m doubtful he was willing to share his culinary invention with the Puritans who escaped to the New World! Just a cultural assumption…) But you sailors know the virtues of the pressure cooker at Thanksgiving, right? Using only a few key ingredients and about an hour’s worth of time...total…you’ll have a beautiful Thanksgiving turkey breast…presto!… on the salon table.

Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast with Cranberry Orange Sauce

2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Oil
1 bone-in turkey breast
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 cup cranberries
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup shelled Walnuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups Freshly Squeezed Orange juice
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
1 sprig sage
1 sprig rosemary
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

The ugly truth about being a carnivore…
The turkey breast I purchased, under well-branded plastic wrap, looked like it had been cut in half with a chain saw. Ugly and frightening, it made me want to eat tofu. But with a good pair of kitchen scissors I cut out what was left of the spine and a thigh bone…or something. I finally got it to resemble what I thought a bone-in turkey breast should look like.
On a medium high flame, heat the butter and oil in your pressure cooker. Just before the butter starts to burn, place the turkey breast in the pressure cooker and brown. Turn the breast around and brown on the other side. Brown all sides of the skin as well as possible. This will take about 5 minutes per side to brown.

Remove and set aside. Keep the drippings in the pressure cooker.

Add to the pressure cooker the onions, cranberries, dried cherries, salt, pepper and herbs.

Place the turkey breast, meat side up, on top of the onions and fruit. Pour 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice over the turkey breast. Add fresh ground sea salt, pepper and a few more fresh herbs on top…parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…now try getting that song out of your head.  ; ) 
That’s all there is to it! Secure your pressure cooker lid very tight. Bring up to pressure over medium high heat. Once the pressure cooker valve starts dancing reduce the heat to medium low. Let cook for 40 minutes. Take off the heat, release a little pressure by gently raising the valve, aiming the valve’s air hole away from you. Just a couple times. Then let it lose pressure naturally for the next 10 minutes or so. This is a good time to prepare other Thanksgiving side dishes, like Stuffing Stuffed Biscuits…coming up in a few days here on Galley Pirates.
The hardest part of pressure cooking for me…being a petite pirate…is unscrewing the lid. I usually ask my captain to come to my rescue. But I was on my own today and managed to get some torque on it by wedging it between my feet, once it had cooled down. If any of you galley pirates out there have suggestions, please share.

Remove the turkey to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Now make the Cranberry Orange sauce. Strain the broth into a 4 quart sauce pan. (I managed not to get one photo of this. But these are pretty basic directions) Keeping on medium-low heat, add a tablespoon of flour and whisk until well blended. Continue whisking and cooking until the sauce thickens. 

Slice and serve with the Cranberry Orange Sauce. The easiest Thanksgiving turkey you’ve ever made!

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Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast with Orange Cranberry Sauce

Cooking under pressure: a full Thanksgiving turkey breast without an oven. In one hour!

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 Bone-in turkey breast
  • 1 Large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup Cranberries
  • 1 cup Dried cherries
  • 1 cup Walnut pieces and halves, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 bunch Fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig Sage
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. On a medium high flame, heat the butter and oil in your pressure cooker. Just before the butter starts to burn, place the turkey breast in the pressure cooker and brown. Turn the breast around and brown on the other side. Brown all sides of the skin as well as possible. This will take about 5 minutes per side to brown.

  2. Remove and set aside. Keep the drippings in the pressure cooker.

  3. Add to the pressure cooker the onions, cranberries, dried cherries, salt, pepper and herbs.

  4. Place the turkey breast, meat side up, on top of the onions and fruit. Pour 1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice over the turkey breast. Add fresh ground sea salt, pepper and a few more fresh herbs on top...parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.

  5. Secure your pressure cooker lid very tight. Bring up to pressure over medium high heat. Once the pressure cooker comes up to pressure reduce the heat to medium low. Let cook for 40 minutes. Take off the heat, release a little pressure by gently raising the valve, aiming the valve's air hole away from you for a few seconds. Then let it lose pressure naturally for the next 10 minutes 

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6 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast with Cranberry Orange Sauce

  1. I keep mine inside the oven -except the lid is underneath the oven. Had a Fagor and the lid warped. So I got a GSI from Fawcetts. I’m not crazy about the rocker toggle-preferred the red button that popped up when you reached pressure in the Fagor. Weird to think we were anchored on the Wacamaw a year ago and I made the turkey breast in the oven-wished I had this recipe then!!

    • If you get this comment twice, my apologies. The Fagor lid should not have warped. Period. That’s the whole point of a pressure cooker. And Fagors are not cheap. I’d think they would replace it for you.

      As good as the pressure cooker breast was, I still like oven roasted. That crispy skin is the best part of the turkey!

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