Friday, December 31, 2010

Spiced Turkey

I have never brined a turkey before, but I found this recipe in Nigella Lawson's christmas cook book, and really wanted to try it. The only trouble we had was that the seal on the brining bag wouldn't stay closed, so we ended up using christmas ribbon to tie the bag, at least it was festive!

10 pints water
4 1/4-ounces 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 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
1 orange, quartered
1 12 lb turkey

For the basting glaze:
2 3/4 ounces butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Place the water into a brining bag 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 add in the pieces.)

Put the turkey into the bag, add more water if the turkey is not completely submerged. Keep refrigerated overnight or for up 1 or 2 days before you cook it. Take it out of the water and wipe it dry 40 or 50 minutes before it has to go into the oven.

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 cook the turkey for 30 minutes at this relatively high temperature, then turn the oven down to 350 and continue cooking, For a 12 pound turkey, allow 3 to 3 1/2 hours. when the juices run clear, the turkey is cooked.

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