Cooking the perfect Turkey by Nick Brodie at Llangoed Hall
Head Chef, Nick Brodie has built his name with a career that has spanned Hong Kong to London before making the UK his home and working his way up the kitchen system in many of the world’s best restaurants and alongside many award winning chefs.
Heading up the kitchen at Llangoed Hall in Wales he uses the best season produce from the hotels kitchen garden where they also keep chickens and ducks which lay delicious fresh eggs every day.
Nick has given us the best way to prepare and cook the perfect Turkey this Christmas!
Turkey, especially the white meat, is prone to drying out because of it’s leanness and also because the white meat cooks faster than the dark meat, so the breast ends up overcooked and dry by the time the legs and thighs are done.
But if you soak a turkey in brine/salt water, the meat’s tightly wound protein strands loosen and form a sponge that soaks up the brine, and the meat becomes packed with extra moisture, which helps the white meat stay juicy until the dark meat is fully cooked.
To make 6 litres of brine:
- 200g coarse sea salt
- 200g brown sugar
- 10 peppercorns
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- bay leaf
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 6ltrs water
Add enough water (about 6 litres) to cover a turkey. Place water and ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add the turkey, cover and brine for 1 hour per 500g.
Thoroughly rinse all the brine from the turkey before cooking, otherwise it will be to salty.
Calculate the cooking time about 20 minutes per 500g.
Truss the turkey and pat the skin dry, place on a large roasting tray, rub it all over with olive oil and season. Surround with 1ltr of water, chopped carrots, onions, celery and garlic. preferably a very hot oven—the hotter the oven, the more quickly the skin will dry out completely and the browning can begin. Once you’ve got the browning underway, you can lower the oven temperature for the remaining cooking time.
Roast for the calculated time, or until the juices run clear from the thigh if you pierce with it a knife or a skewer. Carefully lift the turkey out of the tray and rest on a board that’s covered loosely with foil for around 20 minutes while you finish off the veg and gravy. Skim the surface fat from the roasting tray and add a little flour and stock. Place the tray on the stove and bring to the boil on a high heat. When the gravy starts to thicken, strain it into a container.
Carve the turkey and serve with the sauce.