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roast brined turkey with pork lemon and herb stuffing

This roast brined turkey with pork lemon and herb stuffing is the perfect centrepiece for your Christmas feast. The brining locks in the birds natural juices, so it won’t dry out during the roasting process, making it incredibly tender and the aromatics permeate the meat giving it delicate and subtle flavour throughout.

roast brined turkey with pork lemon and herb stuffing

the brine

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 6 litres water

 for the turkey

  • 1 x 4.5kg Ritchies fresh turkey
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 6 rashers rindless streaky bacon
  • 3-4 cups low salt chicken stock
  • 1½ tablespoons corn flour
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 for pork lemon and herb stuffing

  • 600g Ritchies pork mince
  • 1 egg
  • 3 slices of day old white bread, crust removed, soaked in water, drained.
  • grated rind 1 lemon
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons each of sage leaves (finely chopped) and fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat leaved parsley.
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

roast brined turkey with pork lemon and herb stuffing method

Start this recipe 2 days before you plan to cook the turkey.

First make the brine. Stud the peeled onion with the cloves. In a very large pot, large enough to fit the turkey, add the clove studded onions, along with the other brine ingredients. Pour in water and bring to the boil, cook for half an hour until the flavours have infused the water, and the sugar and salt has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool totally.

Remove the turkey neck and reserve in the fridge to use for stock. Place the turkey in the pot or any large clean food grade container with the brine. Make sure it’s well covered with brine (weigh it down if needed) and add a little extra cold water if required. Refrigerate at least overnight or for up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 180oC.

Use a vegetable peeler, to peel the lemon thinly with no white pith and chop very finely. Add the chopped lemon rind to a large bowl, along with all of the other stuffing ingredients. Use your clean hands to mix the stuffing until it becomes slightly sticky and all the ingredients are really well combined. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry, inside and out, with absorbent kitchen paper. Tuck the wings under the turkey. Stuff the turkey cavity with the pork, lemon and herb stuffing. Truss the legs together with kitchen string and place in a deep roasting tray. Rub the turkey breast and thighs with olive oil and spread with softened butter. Season generously with salt and pepper, then lay the streaky bacon over the breast. Pour chicken stock into the roasting tray (about ⅔rds full), then cover completely with foil.

Roast on the bottom shelf of your oven for about 3.5 hours or until the juices run clear when you pierce the bird at the thickest part (normally the thigh). 30 minutes before the Turkey is ready, remove the foil, then return to the oven and allow the turkey to brown. Remove the turkey from the oven. Place on a serving platter and rest, covered in foil, for at least 15 minutes while you make gravy from the pan juices. Sieve the flavoured stock into a pan on a high heat and reduce by a third. Dissolve 1½ tablespoons of corn flour in 3 tablespoons of cold water, stirring into a smooth paste, then add to the liquid and  Check the gravy seasoning and serve with the hot roasted turkey, bacon wrapped chipolatas and your favourite vegetables.

Serves: 10. Preparation time: 40 minutes (excluding brining time). Cooking time: 4 hours.

roast brined turkey with pork lemon and herb stuffing
roast brined turkey with pork lemon and herb stuffing
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