This holiday food recipe for Cider-brined Turkey with Maple Chilli Glaze, adapted from A Kitchen Year by Paula McIntyre, makes a nice alternative to more traditional turkey recipes:
1 x 5 kg turkey crown
100 g butter, softened
salt and freshly ground black pepper
for the brine solution:
250 g sea salt
500 g Demerara sugar
2 litres cider
2 litres water
2 cinnamon sticks
juice and zest of 2 oranges
1 onion, chopped
handful fresh chopped sage, rosemary and thyme
for the maple chilli glaze:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
200 ml cider
To make the brine, bring all the brine ingredients to the boil in a pot large enough to eventually hold the turkey crown as well and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool completely and add the turkey. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with kitchen paper.
To make the glaze, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion and chillies. Cook until the onion is soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup, vinegar and cider and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Blend to a smooth purée in a liquidiser and pass through a sieve. Return to the pan and simmer until it has reached a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Check the seasoning and set aside.
To cook the turkey, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the turkey on a roasting rack and rub all over with softened butter, then season well with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with tin foil and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour. Remove the foil and brush the glaze all over. Return to the oven and baste every 10 minutes.
A 5 kg turkey crown will take just over 3 hours to cook and the internal temperature should register at least 70°C. Allow the turkey to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving so that it retains its juices.
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