Brined Turkey for Thanks Giving

Give your Turkey the best flavour ever, by trying a very simple traditional American technique; brining the meat overnight before cooking. A brine is salt and water, and by giving your turkey a long soak it’s said to coax more moisture and flavour into your bird.

 The method draws moisture from the inside of the bird to the surface, where it combines with the salt and other seasonings. Eventually, that flavoursome salted liquid is reabsorbed by the meat, seasoning it throughout ahead of cooking and making it extra juicy.

Here, Gillian from Churchfields Saltworks shares an alternative recipe for Brined Roast Turkey using our very own Droitwich Salt.


Ingredients

The Salt
2 whole star anise
2 teaspoons peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 pieces
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Pure Droitwich Salt
1 large orange, peel removed in long strips with vegetable peeler and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

Turkey
5 large spring onions, chopped
1 whole large orange, coarsely chopped with peel
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons flavoured (light) molasses
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (or more) Turkey Stock

Gravy
Just over 2 cups Turkey Stock
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup dry Sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce


Method

For the Salt

1. Coarsely grind first 5 ingredients; transfer to small bowl.

2. Grind cinnamon stick and add to bowl.

3. Mix in the Droitwich Pure Salt and stir in the orange peel

For the Turkey

1. Rinse turkey inside and out (do not pat dry) and place in roasting bag; sprinkle inside and out with the salt mix. Close bag. Place on baking sheet; refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.

2. Mix the spring onions, orange, ginger, star anise and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl

3. Preheat oven to 180. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat very dry.

4. Divide chopped onion mixture between main and neck cavities. Place turkey on rack and set in large roasting pan. Spread butter all over turkey and pour 2 cups of Turkey Stock into the pan.

5. Roast turkey according to size of bird and instructions, basting with the pan juices every 45 minutes, adding stock or water to the pan by the cupful if dry, and tenting turkey loosely with foil if browning too quickly.

6. During the last half hour of cooking, mix the soy sauce and molasses in small bowl and brush on top of the turkey to glaze.

For The Gravy

1. Pour the pan juices into measuring jug. Spoon off fat from surface, reserving 1/2 cup fat to one side.

2. Add enough turkey stock to pan juices to measure 5 1/4 cups total.

3. Place roasting pan on medium heat; add 1/2 cup reserved turkey fat and 1/2 cup flour. Whisk until roux is light brown, about 2 minutes.

4. Whisk in the sherry, then stock mixture. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits and whisking to blend.

5. Boil until gravy is thick enough to coat spoon, about 8 minutes.

6. Whisk in 1 tablespoon soy sauce and season well.

Terra Newman