The Inside: Good Housekeeping - - UNITED KINGDOM -

Brin­ing is all the rage at the mo­ment, and guar­an­tees juicy, sea­soned meat once roasted. You’ll need to start brin­ing 24hr be­fore you want to roast your tur­key. If you haven’t got time for this stage, just start from step 3 ( but al­low tur­key to come up to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore roast­ing).

Hands-on time 45min, plus brin­ing, com­ing up to room tem­per­a­ture and rest­ing. Cook­ing time about

3½hr. Serves 8, with left­overs

• 5.4kg (12lb) free-range tur­key

• 2 oranges

• 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked

• 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped

• 100g (3½oz) but­ter, soft­ened

• About 600g (1lb 5oz) stuff­ing as per Jewelled Stuff­ing Baubles

• 2 large onions, skin on, sliced

For the brine

• 300g (11oz) fine salt

• 175g (6oz) light brown soft su­gar

• 2 oranges, roughly chopped

• 2 lemons, roughly chopped

• Hand­ful thyme sprigs

• Hand­ful rosemary sprigs

For the gravy

• 25g (1oz) plain flour

• 100ml (3½fl oz) white wine

• Dou­ble cream, op­tional

1 A day be­fore you want to roast your tur­key, pre­pare the brine mix­ture. In a large non-re­ac­tive con­tainer that will hold the tur­key and fit into your fridge (such as a clean bucket or large stock­pot) dis­solve the salt and su­gar in 5 litres (about 9 pints) cold wa­ter by stir­ring. Add re­main­ing brine in­gre­di­ents. Lower in tur­key ( be sure to take any giblets out of the cav­ity first). Make sure tur­key is cov­ered with the brine mix­ture (add more cold wa­ter if needed). Cover and chill for up to 24hr.

2 One hour be­fore cook­ing, re­move tur­key from brine so­lu­tion. Care­fully rinse un­der cold run­ning wa­ter (see GH Tip) and sit on a board. Pat dry with kitchen pa­per and use tweez­ers to pluck out any stray feath­ers. Al­low tur­key to come up to room tem­per­a­ture.

3 Pre­heat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Finely grate zest of 1 of the oranges into a medium bowl. Roughly slice the zested and un­zested or­ange and set aside. To the zest bowl, add the thyme leaves, chopped rosemary leaves, soft­ened but­ter and some sea­son­ing. Mix.

4 Lift up tur­key neck flap and use your fin­gers to ease the skin gen­tly away from some of the breast meat. Work ½ but­ter mix­ture un­der the skin, spread­ing over the meat. Next, put the stuff­ing in­side the neck cav­ity. Turn the tur­key over on to its breast, pull the neck flap down and over the stuff­ing, and se­cure with a skewer or cock­tail sticks. Weigh the tur­key and cal­cu­late the cook­ing time, al­low­ing 30-35min per kg (2lb 3½oz). Put half the or­ange slices into the cen­tral tur­key cav­ity.

5 Make a trivet in a large sturdy roast­ing tin with onions and re­main­ing or­ange slices. Tie tur­key legs to­gether and rub over re­main­ing flavoured but­ter mix­ture. Loosely cover tin with foil.

6 Roast for cal­cu­lated time, bast­ing oc­ca­sion­ally (add a lit­tle wa­ter to tin if base is catch­ing), re­mov­ing foil for last 30min of cook­ing. To check the tur­key is cooked, insert a fork into the thick­est part of the breast and check that the juices run golden and clear. If there’s any red tinge to the juice, re­turn the bird to the oven and keep check­ing ev­ery 10-15min. Al­ter­na­tively, use a meat ther­mome­ter – the tem­per­a­ture needs to read at least 72°C when in­serted into the thick­est part of the breast.

7 Trans­fer tur­key to a board (set aside the roast­ing tin for gravy); cover well with foil and then clean tea tow­els to help keep the heat in. Leave to rest in a warm place for at least 30min or up to 1¼hr.

8 Make the gravy. If there is ex­cess fat, spoon some off ( leav­ing other roast­ing re­mains in tin). Put tin over medium hob heat and whisk in flour (mash­ing the or­ange and onion slices as you go). Cook, whisk­ing, for 1min. Grad­u­ally whisk in the wine (scrap­ing up all the sticky bits from the base of the tin) and leave to bub­ble for a few min. Next whisk in 400ml (14fl oz) wa­ter and leave to sim­mer, whisk­ing oc­ca­sion­ally, for a cou­ple of min un­til thick­ened. Strain into a warmed gravy jug or clean pan

(to re­heat when needed). Check sea­son­ing, adding a dash of cream if the brin­ing has made the gravy too salty.

9 To serve, un­wrap tur­key and trans­fer to a warm plat­ter. Re­move skewer or cock­tail sticks and gar­nish with rosemary and fried or­ange slices, if you like. Serve with gravy (re­heated if needed).

Per serv­ing For 125g (4oz) meat, 1tbsp stuff­ing and 50ml (2fl oz) gravy 352cals, 43g pro­tein, 15g fat (5g sat­u­rates), 11g carbs (4g to­tal sug­ars), 1g fi­bre

Get ahead

(if not brin­ing) Pre­pare steps 3-5 up to a day ahead (don’t pre­heat oven). Chill. To serve, al­low stuffed tur­key to come up to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore roast­ing.


Make sure to ster­ilise the sink ar­eas fully af­ter you’ve rinsed the tur­key, to pre­vent the risk of bac­te­rial con­tam­i­na­tion.

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