A succulent, flavourful centrepiece is always the highlight of any festive menu. Make this gorgeously lacquered dry brined turkey for your spread this year
Cooking InstructionsDownload PDF
To prepare the dry brine, add 4 tbsp of whole black peppercorns, mustard seeds, bay leaves, 300g of salt, sugar and zest of 8 oranges to a small bowl and toss to combine.
Rub the dry brine all over the turkey and chill for 5-6 hours or overnight, uncovered in the refrigerator.
To make the stuffing, preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, 6 tbsp of olive oil, 2 handfuls of finely chopped sage and seasoning and toss to coat.
Place on a lined baking tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp. Place the cubes back in the bowl.
In a non-stick pan, over a medium-low heat, melt the butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil before tossing in the rinsed and finely sliced leeks and the cored, trimmed and finely diced fennel. Sauté for 10 minutes or until tender and translucent.
Add the mince pie mix and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the mince pie mixture to the bowl with the bread cubes, along with toasted and finely chopped pecans, zest of 4 oranges and 2 handfuls of finely chopped parsley. Add the stock and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
Reserve 100g of stuffing for the turkey neck.
Grease a 2x12-hole muffin tin and spoon in the stuffing, pressing down slightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and set.
To make the glaze, whisk together the orange juice, Chinese plum sauce, honey, soya sauce, orange marmalade, 10-cm piece of finely grated ginger and 4 finely grated garlic cloves until smooth and combined. Season to taste.
Remove the turkey from the fridge and rinse off all the dry brine.
Set aside for 40 minutes to bring back to room temperature.
Fill the neck cavity of the turkey with the mince pie stuffing.
Using kitchen twine, tie the turkey legs together.
Drizzle the olive oil over the turkey, and season well with the salt and pepper (use less salt than you normally would as the brining process from earlier will have seasoned the meat).
Place the turkey on a wire rack in a large roasting dish. Cover the bird with heavy duty aluminium foil and roast for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and roast for another 45 minutes, basting with the glaze every 5-10 minutes. If the turkey starts browning too fast, cover it loosely with foil. The internal temperature of the breast should reach 75°C when tested with a thermometer.
Transfer the turkey to a platter and leave to rest, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes before carving.
Serve the turkey with the stuffing muffins on the side.