Cooking the Perfect Turkey

Cooking the Perfect Turkey

By Vanessa Beddoe-Sandstrom

This recipe is well worth the extra time it takes to soak in brine and results in a perfectly seasoned and juicy turkey. We’ve provided the measurements for a huge turkey (8 kilos) so adjust as necessary – thankfully you can never have too much white wine or butter!

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 12 hours for soaking in brine
Cook time: 4 hours
Serves: At least 8 adults
8kg whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
2 cups salt (preferably kosher or any other course grain salt which dissolves quickly - this can be purchased from most supermarkets)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped (more if desired)
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
Chopped veggies (potatoes, parsnips etc), as many as will be eaten!
1. Rub the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Place the bird in a large container, and cover with cold water. Place in the refrigerator, and allow the turkey to soak in the salt and water mixture 12 hours, or overnight. If the fridge is too full, place turkey and brine mixture into an oven bag, squeeze out the air and tie shut. Put the bagged turkey into a chilli bin with ice overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Thoroughly rinse the turkey, and discard the brine mixture. 
3. Brush the turkey with 1/2 the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, half the carrots, half the celery, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover with the white wine. Add other vegetables as desired.
4. Roast uncovered 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 85 degrees Celsius. Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time, and brush with the remaining butter. Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.


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