Ingredienti per 1 (4 to 5-kg) turkey, with no additives! don't get the self basting one.
For the brine:
5 liters water (or enough to cover the bird)
125 g table salt
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons allspice berries
4 star anise
2 tablespoons white mustard seeds
200 g caster sugar
2 onions, quartered
3-inch ginger, cut into 6 slices
1 orange, quartered
1 bottle cheap dry white wine
For the turkey
2 medium carrots roughly chopped
2 onions quartered
half a bulb of garlic skinned
For the basting glaze:
75 grams butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preparazione → 1hr + brine over night min
- Cottura → 3hr 30 min
- Difficoltà → Media
1 Boil a cup or two of water, add all the spices and let them draw. Place the rest of the water into your largest cooking pot or bucket/plastic bin ( i use my cooler box) and add all the brine ingredients, stirring to dissolve the salt, sugar. (Squeeze the juice of the orange quarters into the brine before you chuck in the pieces.)
2 Untie and remove any string or trussing attached to the turkey, shake it free and add it to the liquid. Add more water if the turkey is not completely submerged. Keep the mixture in a cold place, overnight or for up 1 or 2 days before you cook it, remembering to take it out of its liquid (and wiping it dry with kitchen-towel) a good 40 or 50 minutes before it has to go into the oven. Pour the brine through a strainer. Take all those good spices and onions and stuff them into the turkey with the giblets. Arrange the carrots, garlic and quartered onions on a baking tray to make a nest for the bird to cook on. Turkeys - indeed this is the case for all meat - should be at room temperature before being put in the preheated oven. If you're at all concerned - the cold water in the brine will really chill this bird - then just cook the turkey for longer than its actual weight requires.
3 For the basting glaze:
Place the butter and syrup into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, while stirring, until the ingredients have melted and combined.
4 Brush the turkey with the glaze all over. Place him breast down on the arranged veg. Bast every 30 minutes turning him over after 1 hour. This makes for much juicier breast meat.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
5 Cook the turkey for 30 minutes at this relatively high temperature, then turn the oven down to 180 degrees C and continue cooking, turning the oven back up to 220 degrees C for the final15 minutes or so if you want to give a browning boost to the skin. For a 4 to 5 Kg turkey, allow 2 1/2 to 3-hours in total (or 20 minutes per 500g) . But remember that ovens vary enormously, so just check by piercing the flesh between leg and body with a small sharp knife: when the juices run clear, the turkey is cooked.
6 Just as it's crucial to let the turkey come to room temperature before it goes in to the oven, so it's important to let it stand out of the oven for a good 20 minutes before you actually carve it. While it stands make gravy by adding cornstarch (maizena) and a little boiling water to the dripping on the baking tray.