Brining your turkey before roasting will keep the meat deliciously juicy and tender, and for less hassle on Christmas day you can even prepare this the night before, as well as the stuffing. Ginger, lime and pork all combine in this recipe to add a zest and subtle hint of spice that's sure to liven up your Christmas dinner.
- Put the brining ingredients into a medium pan and cover with 2 litres water. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes.
- Pour the brine into a large container that will fit the turkey, such as a clean plastic bin or bucket, and add 6 litres (10 1/2pt) water. Submerge the turkey, cover and leave somewhere cool (in the fridge if you can fit it or in a garage or outside, if it’s cold enough – just make sure the lid is well secured or use an ice box with clips) for 12-18 hours.
- Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C and remove the turkey from the brine. Put in a large roasting tin and pat dry with kitchen paper. Leave to sit, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, combine the stuffing ingredients in a bowl. When you’re ready to roast, put the stuffing into the neck cavity of the turkey – if there's any stuffing left, shape the remaining mixture into golf ball sized portions and set aside. Tie up the legs and spread the butter over the turkey’s skin.
- Put the turkey in the oven for 45 minutes, basting halfway through.
- Reduce the oven temperature to gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C and cook for a further 18 minutes per 450g (arranging the leftover stuffing balls, if there are any, around the turkey and returning to the oven for the last 45 minutes). To check it is cooked through with no pink meat remaining and that the juices run clear, pierce the thickest part of the leg with a sharp knife to test.
- Remove the turkey to a carving board, cover and rest for at least 20 minutes, then carve. Serve with the stuffing and your choice of vegetables.
See more Christmas turkey recipes
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.