This year I thought I’d try brining my turkey for Christmas lunch.
I used a 3kg turkey breast fillet.
1 cup of kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons of treacle
7 fresh sage leaves
2 large bay leaves
1 tablespoon of – peppercorns, cloves, all spice, juniper berries
The zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon (I used a vegetable peeler, avoiding any of the white pith) – save the fruit for later.
I dissolved the salt and sugar in 2 cups of boiling water. I took the pot off the heat and added all the other ingredients (aside from the turkey), I then added 3 litres of cold water. I submerged the turkey in the brining liquid and put it in the fridge.
*if the turkey floats, you can weigh it down with a dinner plate
Ideally it should sit in the brining liquid for at least 12 hours.
Rinse under clear cool water for 5 minutes, drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
*For a crisp skin, air dry in the fridge for 6-12 hours before stuffing and roasting.
Preheat oven to 180c
*option 1 Add two cups of stock to your baking tray to keep the turkey moist while it’s roasting.
*option 2 – what I do at Christmas! I fill the pocket under the skin with butter and other yummy things. At Christmas it’s usually 1/2 cup chopped craisins, 2 tbsp minced garlic, 1/3 cup fresh thyme leaves, salt, pepper, and the zest of 1 lemon. Mixed with butter to make a paste then stuffed under the skin.
When you place it in the dish, surround with the quartered lemons and oranges, some generous sprigs of thyme.
Cover with foil! Completely wrap the dish with foil. Allow none of the moisture to escape.
Cook for 1 hour for the first kilo. Then 40 minutes for each kilo thereafter. My 3kg turkey breast will roast for 2 hours and 20 minutes.
*When there is 30 minutes to go, remove the foil. Roast until the skin is golden brown.
*If you’re unsure, the turkey is fully cooked when the juices run clear if you poke the thickest part of the meat with a skewer.
Allow the turkey to rest for 15 minutes before carving to ensure it stays juicy.