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Honey-spiced Christmas turkey


Serves: 12-14 with some leftovers
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Honey-spiced Christmas turkey
Recipe photograph by Toby Scott

Honey-spiced Christmas turkey

Relish the flavours of Christmas and tuck into our delicious honey-spiced turkey on the big day

Serves: 12-14 with some leftovers
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (150g cooked meat)
Calories
364Kcal
Fat
16gr
Saturates
8gr
Carbs
8gr
Sugars
8gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
47gr
Salt
0.8gr

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Sainsbury's magazine

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Sainsbury's magazine

Sainsbury's magazine

Our team of trained chefs and skilled food writers love cooking up everything from innovative seasonal recipes or clever shortcuts, to step-by-step guides and classic recipes for friends and readers alike.

See more of Sainsbury's magazine’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 x 5kg turkey, or size of your choice, giblets removed
For the brine
  • 700g coarse rock salt
  • 500g demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 x 15g pack thyme
  • 6-8 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 2 oranges
To glaze
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 75g clear honey
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
To roast
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, roughly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
Serving suggestion
  • 1kg carrots
  • 1kg parsnips
  • 1kg Brussels sprouts

Step by step

Get ahead

Brine the turkey 24-36 hours before cooking.

  1. For the brine, tip the salt and sugar into a large saucepan with 1.5 litres of water and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve. Add the peppercorns, cloves and coriander seeds. Pour into your preserving pan, bucket or cool box and add about 4 litres of cold water, followed by most of the thyme (reserve a few sprigs to go inside the turkey when it roasts), bay leaves, onion and celery. Pare the zest from the oranges with a veg peeler; add, then squeeze in the juice.

  2. When the brine is cool, add your turkey (make a note of its weight to calculate the cooking time). Add more cold water until the turkey is submerged. If necessary, pop a plate on top to hold it down below the level of the brine. Cover, and keep somewhere cool for 24-36 hours.

  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5.

  4. For the glaze, melt the butter in a small pan. Let it settle for a few minutes, then pour the clear melted butter off into another pan and discard the milky solids. Add the honey, mixed spice and a little seasoning and mix well. If the glaze sets, you can just reheat it gently.

  5. To roast, tuck the orange quarters, bay leaves, reserved thyme sprigs and some of the onion into the turkey cavity. Tie the legs together to give it a neat shape. Put the rest of the onion and the other veg into the bottom of a large foil-lined roasting tin, then sit the turkey on top.

  6. Brush about ⅓ of the honey glaze all over the turkey, then cover it loosely with extra-wide foil. Roast the turkey for 20 minutes per 500g, basting with a bit more of the honey glaze every 30-45 minutes. Keep a little glaze back for a final basting. A good indicator of when the turkey is ready is to give the legs a wiggle – if it’s quite uncooked, they will be tight and firm; if it’s cooked, they will have a bit of movement. Also, pierce the thickest part of the leg; the juices must run clear.

  7. Remove the foil from the turkey, give it a final glaze and return to the oven for about 10 minutes to crisp up the skin and give it a glossy brown colour. Remove from the oven, transfer the turkey to a platter, cover with foil and a tea towel to keep the warmth in and rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. A whole turkey will stay hot for at least 2 hours if covered like this, giving you time to cook all the accompaniments.

  8. Use the roasted veg from the tin, and any sticky bits, to add to your gravy, but avoid burnt bits.

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