Ultimate brined turkey recipe – that you start on Christmas Eve

Leave plenty of time for fun and family time and sort your turkey out on Christmas eve. This delicious recipe for your turkey is perfect for those who like to get ahead, leaving the big day for less time in the kitchen clock watching and overheating over your Bucks Fizz.

The irresistible brine you'll create here will turn what can often be a dry meat into a plate of full-on flavour and one that you'll remember for years to come.

The addition of plenty of filtered water is a game changer for moisture and the addition of salt, sugar, bay, thyme, peppercorns, orange and onion is a revelation – no need for a Christmas candle when this is simmering – your home will smell magical.

Ultimate brined turkey

Serves 8-10


  • 5.5kg turkey
  • Approx. 3 litres of filtered water
  • 200g Maldon sea salt
  • 100g light brown soft sugar
  • 6 bay leaves
  • Handful of thyme sprigs
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 orange (unpeeled, quartered)
  • 1 onion (unpeeled, quartered)
  • 75g goose fat (or butter)
  • 50g softened butter
  • A small handful of chopped herbs (thyme and parsley)
  • Salt and pepper, to season

1. Fill a large pan with 3 litres of Culligan’s filtered cold water and place on a low-medium heat.

2. Add the salt, sugar, bay, thyme, peppercorns, orange and onion, and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.

3. Remove from the heat, then leave to cool completely.

4. Add the turkey to a vessel or pot large enough to hold your turkey plus 3 litres of water, then pour over the cooled brine. Ensure the turkey is completely submerged in the brine.

5. Cover and place in a cool place. Allow to brine for at least 8 hours or overnight.

6. Drain well (discarding the aromatics), pat dry and weigh the turkey.

7. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C/gas mark 6.

8. Add the goose fat to a roasting tin and mix the softened butter with the herbs and rub over the turkey skin. Season well.

9. Roast the turkey for 20 minutes per kg (basting regularly with the pan juices and goose fat) plus an extra 90 minutes.

10. To test whether the turkey is cooked, push a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear. If they are pinkish, cook for another 15 minutes, then test again.

11. Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 20–40 minutes before serving.

Culligan provides innovative and high-quality water solutions. Save money, time, and energy with the ultimate drinking water system. Culligan’s sleek and stylish instant tap can provide boiling, chilled and sparkling water. For more information, visit culligan.co.uk

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