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Day #6 Make the Perfect Roast Turkey

Day #6 Make the Perfect Roast Turkey

Sunday 14 December, 2014

Christmas spells feasting and sharing a beautiful festive roast turkey with the near and dear ones.

And what is turkey without all the trimmings? Our kitchen has put together a gorgeous Cranberry, Pecan and Brioche Seasoning plus a Cranberry Port Gravy to drizzle over your succulent turkey meat.

The recipe is featured below. Come back next week to know more about the sides we recommend.

For two weeks starting tomorrow, you can buy a Lilydale Free Range Turkey at your local butcher or nearest IGA store.

Brined Lilydale Turkey With Cranberry Port Gravy and Cranberry, Pecan and Brioche Seasoning

Serves: 6-8

Preparation time: 30 minutes + brining
Cooking time: 35 minutes per 500g


  • 1 x 3-4 kg Lilydale Free Range Turkey
  • 1 cup cooking salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3½ litres water
  • 1 x 375ml bottle verjuice
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, squashed
  • 1 Tblsp black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 cup continental parsley leaves and stalks
  • extra, 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 lemon cut into quarters
  • 75g butter
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 2½ cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup cranberries soaked in ½ cup port


1To make the brine, combine the salt and sugar in a large bowl, pour over boiling water and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Allow to cool. Add the water, verjuice, onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and ½ of each bunch of herbs. Set aside.

2Rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towel. Line a large boiler that will hold the turkey in an extra-large oven bag. Place the turkey into the oven bag, breast side down, pour over the brining mixture, ensuring the cavity is filled. Seal the oven bag making sure the turkey is completely submerged. Refrigerate for 1 hour per 500g of turkey. (4kg turkey, brine for 8 hours).

3Remove from the brining solution and rinse well under running water to remove the salt. Pat dry.

4Preheat the oven to 250C. Fill the cavity of the turkey with onion, lemon, extra garlic and the remaining herbs. Truss the turkey and place into a baking dish.

5Take a sheet of baking paper large enough to cover the turkey and rub thickly with butter. Lay butter side down over the turkey. Cover with foil.

6Place the turkey in the oven and reduce the oven to 180C. Bake for 40 minutes per kg, basting regularly. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of cooking to brown and crisp the skin. To test if the turkey is cooked insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juice runs clear, then the turkey is cooked.

7Once the turkey is cooked, remove from the oven, place on warm plate and cover loosely with foil. Rest for 30 minutes.

8 To make the gravy, add flour to the pan juices and cook while stirring over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Pour in the stock, whisking continuously to prevent lumps, and bring to a simmer. Add the cranberries and port; simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.

9Carve the turkey and serve with the Cranberry Port Gravy and the Cranberry, Pecan and Brioche Seasoning.


Cranberry, Pecan and Brioche Seasoning

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes


  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 90g butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 200g piece pancetta, cut into 5mm dice
  • ½ loaf sour dough, torn into 2cm chunks
  • ½ loaf brioche, torn into 2cm chunks
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly broken
  • 2 Tblsp finely chopped sage
  • 2 Tblsp finely chopped thyme
  • 2 Tblsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten


1Combine the cranberries and boiling water in a small bowl and allow to stand for 15 minutes.

2Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, add the onion, garlic and pancetta. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is transparent.

3Drain the cranberries and discard the water. In a large bowl, combine the cranberries with the onion mixture, bread chunks, pecans, herbs, stock and eggs. Mix well.

4Place into a large baking dish and bake at 180C for 45-50minutes or until the top is brown and crispy.

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