Roast Turkey & Brine


This recipe was initially from Nigella Lawson, but over the years I have Annafied it. As with Gavin and Stacey, it is now a yearly tradition to leave the turkey outside submerged in brine for a few days.


Serves 6-8
6 litres water * 2 large oranges, quartered * 140g (5oz) table salt * 3 tbsp black peppercorns * 1 bouquet garni * 1 cinnamon stick * 1 tbsp fennel seeds * 4 cloves * 2 tbsp juniper berries * 4 star anise * 2 tbsp white mustard seeds * 200g (7oz) caster sugar * 2 onions, unpeeled, quartered * 6cm fresh ginger, cut into slices * 4 tbsp maple syrup * 4 tbsp runny honey * 4 sprigs fresh rosemary * 5.5kg (12lb) turkey crown or whole turkey

Put the water into your largest cooking pot, bucket or plastic bin. Add in all the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine the salt, sugar, syrup and honey. Remove the packaging and giblets from the turkey and submerge it into the water. Cover the pot and keep in a cool place for up to 2 days. When ready, take it out of the liquid and dry with kitchen paper. Leave to rest for an hour before it goes into the oven.

Turkey Brine
Roast Turkey


Basting Glaze: 85g (3oz) goose fat or butter * 1 tbsp maple syrup

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Melt the goose fat or butter and maple syrup together slowly over a low heat. Paint the turkey with the glaze before roasting in the oven and baste every now and again during the cooking time. Roast for as long as required (below). Pierce the turkey where the leg meets the body with a sharp knife. If the juices run clear, the turkey is ready. If not, continue to cook. Remove from the oven and cover in a foil for about 40 minutes until ready to carve.

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