Epic Christmas Roast Turkey Recipe
This Epic Roast Turkey recipe is for the cooking fanatics, the ‘go all out’ this Christmas and the ones ready to impress. The recipe isn’t called ‘Epic’ for no reason…
We have used our new Roast Turkey rub and the brining technique to ensure super juicy and flavoursome meat.
You can leave out the Brining stage if you like but we really think it makes the difference.
So there are four parts to mastering this Epic Roast Turkey Recipe.
1 – Brining the bird. The first part is brining the turkey three days before you are ready to cook your Turkey for the special day. (This part of the process is not compulsory, however our friends at River Cottage highly suggest you do this. But if you don’t have time, then this part of the process would be the one you could take out)
2 – Spice Butter. The second part is making the spice butter to tuck underneath the skin of the turkey which ensures the flavours are enriched through the turkey.
3 – Cooking. The third part is best bit… cooking the Turkey!
4 – Gravy. Then whilst the turkey is resting you can make the Turkey gravy.
Brining the Turkey
- 400g Salt
- 200g Brown Sugar
- Water – enough to half fill a large stock pot
- 12 x Juniper Berries
- 20 x Black Peppercorns
- 12 x Coriander Seeds
- 6 x Bay Leaves
- 500ml Cider
- 4 strips Orange Peel
- 1 x Bulb garlic
- Thyme (small bunch)
- Tarragon (small bunch)
- And of course the Turkey itself. Make sure any giblets are removed and the cavity is clear.
- Add all ingredients to the large stock pot filled with the water
- Bring to the boil and stir
- Leave to cool completely (this is an important step)
- Then add the turkey to a large container and pour over the cold brine, ensuring it is completely submerged. Cover and place in the fridge (weigh down if necessary).
- Leave for two days
- Then remove the turkey and drain
- Discard the brine
- Mix two tablespoons of the turkey rub (keep the rest) with the butter
- Lay onto a double layer of cling-film and roll into a sausage shape
- Tie the ends and freeze until needed
Preparing and cooking the turkey
- Brined turkey (free range or organic) ours was approx 5kg
- Salt & Pepper
- Giblets (if available)
For the Cavity Veg:
- 1 x Orange (halved)
- Thyme (small bunch)
- Rosemary (small bunch)
- 4 x Bay Leaves
- 1 x Onion (Halved)
- 1 x Garlic Bulb (halved)
For the tray veg:
- 2x Carrots (cut lengthways)
- 2x Onions (peeled and quartered)
Method: Night before cooking
- Season Turkey in the cavity with salt and pepper
- Cut disks of the spice butter and place under the skin of the turkey (do this all over, including the legs). Keep some to one side.
- Rub the rest of the dry rub all over the top of the skin
- Place all ingredients into the turkey cavity
- Rub any remaining spice butter over the top of the turkey
- Place into a deep roasting tray with the tray veg underneath. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
Day of cooking:
- Take the turkey out of the fridge two hours before cooking
- Heat oven to 200◦c (fan)
- Add some water to cover the base of the tray, around 2cm deep
- Season top of turkey with salt
- Cook in the oven for 30 minutes until the turkey gets a nice golden colour on the skin
- Then take out to baste. Baste all over using the buttery pan juices inside and out
- Reduce the oven temperature to 150◦c (fan)
- Cook for approx. 30 mins per kg of meat
- So ours was in the oven cooking for around 2 1/2 hours, basting every 30 mins or so, until the thickest part or the leg reaches 65◦c (best to use a meat thermometer). If the temperature is not reached then place back into the oven and keep checking every 10 mins, until ready
- Remove from the oven and remove all herbs and vegetables from the cavity. Keep these and the buttery pan juices to make the gravy later
- Place turkey onto a plate, cover and rest for at least an hour
Roast Turkey Gravy
- Pan Juices from cooking the Turkey
- 200ml Port
- 500ml Cider
- 2 tbsp Quince jelly
- 2 tbsp Cornflour
- 1 litre Organic Chicken Stock
- Take the roasting tray containing the pan juices, giblets and roasting veg and place onto the hob on a medium-high heat.
- Add in the port and reduce by half, stirring continuously.
- Then add the cider and reduce again by half, scraping up all of the sticky bits at the bottom of the tray
- Stir in the quince jelly until dissolved
- Add the cornflour and keep stirring until any lumps have disappeared
- Then add in the chicken stock and reduce to simmer
- To finish, strain through a sieve, pressing out all of the juice
- Allow to sit until all the fat rises to the top. A clear jug is good for this. Remove with a ladle.
- If there are still some bits of the fat on top then place some kitchen towel flat on the top to remove.
- Then put into a saucepan on a low simmer until ready to serve
- Add in any turkey scraps and bones (no skin or fat) left from carving the bird.
- Add in any juices and serve.
We hope you loved making this turkey recipe and I expect it will certainty impress your dinner guests this Christmas! If you attempted this challenging recipe then we would love to hear your comments in the comment section below. We would also love to see some pics of the final product by tagging us on social media @rossandrossgifts. If you loved this recipe then you will certainty love our Roast Potatoes recipe that would fit perfectly with your epic turkey!