Brined Roast Turkey
Prep: 10 minutes, plus overnight brine
Cooking: 30 minutes per 500grams of turkey
Brining is a technique that works equally well for roast chicken or turkey. It ensures your meat stays moist and delicious, and the aromatics permeate the meat giving it delicate and subtle flavor throughout.
You must cook your stuffing in a pan on the side, as the roasting juices will be too salty to eat. Likewise with gravy, if you would like gravy, you cannot use the pan juices.
You need a vessel large enough to completely submerge your bird in the brine mix, and keep it refrigerated overnight. I used a large square Tupperware container, but a stock-pot or bucket also works if you weigh the bird down with a plate with a brick on top.
If your turkey is larger just do the math. Three kilos is half again, four kilos is double, and so on.
- 1 Steggles turkey
- 240 grams of salt
- 5 litres of water
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 brown onion peeled and chopped
- 6 juniper berries
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 10 peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- Lemon, for cooking
- A bunch of thyme, for cooking
- Cranberry sauce, for serving
- Dissolve your salt in 1 litre of boiling water in the vessel you are planning to brine in. Add remaining 4 litres of water, and toss in all of the aromatics.
- Leave to cool while you remove the turkey from wrapping, remove the neck from the cavity, and cut away any large bits of skin near cavity opening.
- When brine is luke-warm, slowly lower the turkey in. If it looks like it will overflow just carefully remove some liquid with a cup. You need it to be as full as it can be to ensure proper coverage.
- Place in the fridge overnight.
- When it is time to cook your turkey, remove it from the brine, rinse it well, and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Preheat your oven 160C.
- Place a whole lemon and a bunch of thyme in the turkey’s cavity, and pop it in the oven. You will need to cook it half an hour per 500 grams.
- When cooked, rest for 15-20 minutes covered in foil, before carving at the table.