Today is the first day of Autumn which means our Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner: the 1st Monday of October. NO IT'S NOT!!! IT IS THE 2ND MONDAY - I MUST HAVE BEEN THINKING OF LABOUR DAY IN SEPTEMBER BEING THE 1ST MONDAY!!! Thanks Sylvie :0)
[I believe the Canadian festival is earlier than the American because our
harvest is earlier due to the colder weather?] Anyway . . .
I have been attempting to schedule the extended family for our Thanksgiving and I'm almost there with only 2 family members left who haven't rearranged their lives to accommodate everyone else :0) In doing so, I felt I had to share the turkey recipe that is a must in our home for any turkey dinner.
When I first came across this in the UK, it sounded strange and it intrigued me. I had to wait until I returned to Canada to try it though as this crowd is a little more adventurous !!! It is long, it sounds time consuming but it really isn't. (You do need to begin at least the day before your meal though)
Brined and Spiced Super Juicy Roast Turkey ~ Nigella Lawson
- 10 pints 11 fluid ounces (6 liters) water
- 4 1/4-ounces (125 grams) table salt
- 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 4 cloves
- 2 tablespoons allspice berries
- 4 star anise
- 2 tablespoons white mustard seeds
- 7 ounces (200 grams) caster sugar
- 2 onions, quartered
- 1 (3-inch) piece ginger, cut into 6 slices
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons clear honey
- Handful fresh parsley leaves, optional (only if you've got some parsley hanging around)
- 1 orange, quartered
- 1 (9 to 11 1/4-pound) (4 to 5-kg) turkey
For the basting glaze:
- 2 3/4 ounces (75 grams) butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
For the turkey:
Place the water into your largest cooking pot or bucket/plastic bin and add all the turkey ingredients, stirring to dissolve the salt, sugar, syrup and honey. (Squeeze the juice of the orange quarters into the brine before you chuck in the pieces.)
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, even outside 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. 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.
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.
Brush the turkey with the glaze before roasting, and baste periodically throughout the roasting time.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cook the turkey for 30 minutes at this relatively high temperature, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and continue cooking, turning the oven back up to 425 degrees F for the final15 minutes or so if you want to give a browning boost to the skin. For a 9 to 11-pound turkey, allow 2 1/2 to 3-hours in total. 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.
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.
This makes the most amazing turkey I've ever tasted. Moist, juicy, gorgeous!!!! You really have to try it at least once and you'll never make turkey or poultry for that matter, any other way again! Stay tuned and I'll give you some great ideas to serve with it. Nigella's allspice gravy is fantastic with this. As with all brined dishes, you'll not get your normal gravy from the drippings in the pan.
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