Turkey is notoriously dry. Probably because it is treated like a giant chicken, and often overcooked. The legs are done before the breasts, and the skin gets tough.
Not this turkey! We’re going to treat her right, and you’ll be rewarded with a turkey that is tasty and juicy. And you can even make your own simple gravy!
- 1 defrosted turkey (mine was about 3.5kg) (Give a turkey about 3 – 4 days to defrost. If you are running late, put it in a bucket of cold water and keep in the fridge, and it will defrost in 1-2 days).
- 2 portions of brine (i.e. double this brine recipe) (*depends on how big your container is.. you need enough brine to submerge the turkey)
- Salt, pepper, butter
For the Gravy:
- 1 part Onion
- 2 parts Carrots
- 2 parts Celery
- Garlic (cloves, unpeeled)
- Herbs (sage or rosemary is delicious)
- 500ml -1 liter Liquid to cover the bottom of the pan so that the juices from the turkey don’t burn. You may have to top this up. (Chicken stock is delicious).
- Defrost the turkey in the fridge – you can give it about 3-4 days if you put it in the fridge as is. If you want to defrost it faster, put the vacuum packed turkey in a bowl of cold water. Then it will take 1-2 days, depending on the size.
- When the turkey is thawed completely, put the turkey in the brine. for 3 hours to overnight.
- Rinse the turkey and pat dry, then season. Make sure there are no giblets in the turkey.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Roughly chop up big chunks of the vegetables and add everything to the roasting pan except the garlic, If your turkey had giblets, add these too.
- Put the turkey on top of the veggies, face down (this stops the legs from burning).
- Cook in the center of the oven for about 60 minutes.
- Turn your turkey over gently, so that the breast is now face up, and add the garlic cloves. Top up the liquid if necessary.
- Throw the garlic cloves into the roasting pan, (preferably under the turkey), and return the turkey to the oven.
- Turn the oven to 180C and cook for 40-60 min, or however long it takes to get the turkey cook through *
- When the skin is golden and crispy, and the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes – this keeps the meat juicy.
To make the gravy:
- Remove the giblets from the pan and set aside. Add whatever of these you’d like to, but note that they have a strong flavour.
- Squeeze the garlic from the cloves into a large blender jug.
- Add the roasted veggies and the liquid.
- Add more liquid to get it to your preferred thickness.
To test if your turkey is done, put a knife between the leg where it meets the breast.. if the juice runs clear, it’s good.
Most turkeys have that weird red dot thing, which is a super-simple way of showing when it has reached the required temperature of 170F or about 80C – you can measure this with a food thermometer too.