Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Thanksgiving Turkey

As usual, I totally forgot to take a picture pre-carving. But, regardless, it was very tasty and juicy, and I'm very pleased with it. I followed, this year too, Nigella's recipe for "Spiced and Super-Juicy Turkey" from Feast. Worked out great! I've made a few changes in the brining ingredients, but it doesn't make much of a difference. My turkey weighed 3.800 g.

Spiced and Super-Juicy Turkey
Adapted from "Feast" by Nigella Lawson

5-6 litres of water
125 g salt
3 tbsp black peppercorns
100g sugar
2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 x 5cm piece of ginger, cut into 6 slices
3 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 tbsp cloves
2 tbsp allspice berries
2 star anise
1 orange, quartered
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp runny honey

For the basting
75g butter
3 tbsp maple syrup

Put all the brine ingredients - except water - in a bowl. Add 1 litre of water, and stir until it's dissolved. Pour this, into a very large pot or bucket, add the turkey and top up with the rest of the water. The turkey should be submerged. I had to cover it with a heavy ceramic dish to keep it from bobbing up.

Cover with plastic and place in a cool place for a day or two. I don't have room for a huge bucket in my fridge - who does? - but I placed it on my glassed-in balcony and that worked well.

Bring it inside and pat it very dry about an hour before it goes in the oven. I baked mine for 2½ hours, and that was perfect. Start by basting it with the mixture of butter and maple syrup, and give it half an hour in a really warm oven - 225°C. After that, cover it with foil to prevent burning, and lower the heat to 175° for two hours. Remove and cover with foil, and let it rest for half an hour before carving.

If your bird is bigger or smaller, you need to adjust the time, obviously. And if you have the time and energy, and a baster - do baste the bird periodically with the juices collecting in the pan. I'm sure that will help keep it moist.


Tanja said...

Yummy! Sounds really great. I love turkey, I still haven't done a whole turkey myself yet. Maybe next year. :)

Lena said...

Mmmm... om jag blundar kan jag nästan föreställa mig hur god den var. Kalkon är *mums*

RecipeQueen said...

yum, yum! i had ham this year for easter. did anyone else have ham for easter? i wonder how you people would feel if you had to share your easter dinner with three pugs?

Michele said...

Anne, thanks so much for this mouthwatering recipe. I love your use of spices and can't wait to try it! We are proud to have it included in this week's FoodieView Recipe Roundup!