Super Juicy Roast Turkey

We have decided to return to the turkey theme this year. But we are giving you a choice, either cook and serve it warm on the day, or cook the day before and serve the turkey at room temperature. Both Janet and I are opting for a cold Christmas Lunch this year. 

We brined the turkey even if it has been brined beforehand, to guarantee extra succulence and have added aromatics in the form of orange, star anise and cinnamon.

YOU WILL NEED

Brine

  • 8 cups (2 litres) water
  • 2 oranges, cut into ¼'s
  • 1 cup (250 g) coarse salt
  • 1¼ cups (250 g) brown sugar
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, unpeeled and sliced
  • a handful of fresh thyme
  • 1 T (15 ml) black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 bag (2 kg) ice

Turkey

  • 1 small (± 3 kg) turkey, with or without giblets
  • 2 oranges
  • a handful of fresh thyme
  • Ina Paarman's Chicken Spice
  • olive oil

For roasting

  • 1 brined turkey (see above)
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 x 25 g Ina Paarman's Liquid Chicken Stock
  • 2 cups (500 ml) warm water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white wine
  • 1 x 200ml Ina Paarman's Ready to Serve Roast Chicken Gravy
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
Method

We still believe that roasting under baking or greaseproof paper gives the very best results. We blasted the bird in a very hot oven first, before covering it and roasting it slowly under the paper. This method gives a most delicious gravy. **Do watch the video first before attempting this recipe.**

To prepare the brine

In a saucepan bring the water to the boil (squeeze the juice from the orange quarters into the brine and add the orange skins). Add the remaining ingredients as listed but not the ice. Boil for 3 minutes to extract the flavour from herbs and spices. Pour into a large plastic container and leave to cool a little. We used an Addis 9 litre container, which has a lid. Add bag of ice and stir.

Put the turkey into the brine, with the breast facing down. No need to refrigerate if you don’t have the space. Cover with a lid or clean wet towel and leave in a cool spot overnight, or for 12 hours.

For roasting

Adjust the oven rack to two slots below the middle position. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Remove turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve the orange peels.

Halve and prick the fresh oranges all over with a fork and insert them, together with some thyme, inside the bird. Tie the legs together with string.
Season the outside of the bird very lightly with Chicken Spice and rub all over with olive oil.

Place the turkey in the roasting pan on a platform of roughly chopped onion, the reserved orange peels from the brine and giblets, but not the liver. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the skin of the bird is lightly browned. Turn the heat right down to 160°C and remove the turkey from the oven.

Dissolve the Liquid Chicken Stock in the water. Add to the pan, together with the wine. Drizzle and spread more oil over the turkey to make sure it is well oiled, to prevent the paper from sticking to it.

Wet one large sheet of baking paper, oil it very well, place oiled side down on the bird and tuck it in under the rim of the pan to ‘seal in’ the turkey. Cook, covered like this, for ± 2 hours.

Remove the paper. Transfer turkey to a carving board, tent loosely with foil rest for 15 – 20 minutes. Store in the fridge, well wrapped, once cooled. Carve the turkey before serving.

The gravy

Strain out the pan juices into a large measuring jug. Discard the solids. Add Roast Chicken Gravy and refrigerate. On the day heat through. Taste, if too strong, add a little more water, if too weak boil fast to reduce and concentrate the flavour. Add a dash of lemon juice. Serve this delicious thin gravy poured hot, over the sliced turkey meat at room temperature. The remaining gravy is served on the side in a sauceboat.

Ina's Tip

If you have turkey liver, chop it finely and add to the stuffing balls wrapped in bacon.

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