Buttermilk Brined Turkey

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Tesco Buttermilk Brined Turkey in 5 Easy Steps

A good way to ensure a juicy turkey adorns your table this Christmas is to brine it overnight. The buttermilk help tenderise the meat while the salt in the brine adds flavour. For extra flavour, a delicious herb butter is spread under the skin of the turkey.

Combined Prep: 25 minutes
Brining: 8 hours
Cook: 3 – 3.5 hours
Rest: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Brine:

  • 1 1/2l water, plus more if needed
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4l buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns

Flavoured butter:

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 15 sage leaves, finely minced

Turkey:

  • 4.5-5kg whole turkey, giblets & neck removed
  • ½ orange
  • Small bunch fresh thyme and sage
  • String
  • Roasting tray

Method:

  1. Wash a large plastic container with warm soapy water, then sterilise with boiling water. Pour in the cold water and stir in the salt and sugar. Place the turkey in the container breast side down then pour over the buttermilk and add the peppercorns. If needed, top up with water until turkey is submerged. Place in a cool area and leave to brine overnight.
  2. An hour before roasting, remove turkey from brine and pat dry with paper towel. Discard brining liquid.
  3. To make the flavoured butter, use a fork to mix butter together with herbs in a small bowl until mixed. Cover bowl with clingfilm and leave in a cool area until needed. (This can be prepared a day or two before and kept in the fridge.)
  4. Soften flavoured butter if needed,  then push butter under skin of the turkey, spreading it evenly over the meat. Place turkey in a large roasting dish and cover with clingfilm, then leave turkey at room temperature for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven on highest heat. If stuffing the turkey, stuff the neck cavity and pin the skin closed with cocktail sticks. Place the orange and small bunch of herbs in the body cavity of the turkey then tie the legs together with string. Cover with foil.
  6. Place turkey in the preheated oven and turn temperature down to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Roast for 20mins per 500g (including weight of stuffing). If using a meat thermometer, the thickest part of the thigh & stuffing must read 80°C and the breast 75°C. Remove foil for last 45 minutes of roasting to crisp the skin, although, re-cover if it starts to brown too much.
  7. Leave turkey to sit covered in foil for about 30 minutes before serving.

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