This Christmas why not try Neven Maguire's Buttermilk brined roast crown of turkey?
- 5 kg (10lb) quality assured turkey crown
- 75 g (3oz) butter (at room temperature)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- finely grated rind of 1 orange
- 1 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 4 rindless smoked bacon rashers
For the buttermilk brine:
- 2 l (3 ½ pints) buttermilk
- 3 tblsp maldon sea salt (or kosher)
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oranges, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves and sliced
- 15 g (1/2oz) fresh rosemary sprigs, roughly bruised
For the gravy:
- 2 tblsp plain flour
- 450 ml (3/4 pint) turkey or chicken stock
- crispy roast potatoes, sausage stuffing and selection of vegetables, to serve (see separate recipes)
- Mix all the ingredients together in turkey bag for the buttermilk brine and add the turkey crown. Tie up the bag securely and place in the salad drawer at the bottom of the fridge for up to 2 days is best but at least 24 hours.
- When ready to cook the turkey reheat the oven to 190C (375F), Gas mark 5.
- repare the turkey crown, Cream the butter until really soft, then add the crushed garlic, orange, parsley and rosemary. Beat well until thoroughly blended. Remove the turkey crown from the brine and drain off any excess liquid, then pat the skin of the turkey dry with kitchen paper. Gently loosen the neck flap away from the breast, pack the flavoured butter right under the skin, this is best using gloves on your hands, rub into flesh of turkey well, then recover with skin and secure with a small skewer or sew with fine twine, then cover the top with the rashers.
- Place the prepared turkey crown in the oven and calculate your time, 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes. The turkey crown will cook much quicker, so make sure to keep basting; you can cover with foil if it’s browning too quickly. When cooked cover with foil to rest and keep warm. Drain away all but three tablespoons of the cooking juices and reserve.
- Skim all the fat from the cooking juices, then pour off all but three tablespoons juices from the roasting tin. Stir the flour into the pan residue and cook, stirring over a low heat until golden. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring all time. Bring to the boil, and let bubble for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Season to taste and keep warm.
- To serve, carve the turkey crown into slices and arrange on warmed plates with the roast potatoes and vegetables. Pour the gravy into a warmed gravy jug and hand around separately.
Work out the size of the turkey you’ll need and order it from your butcher well in advance. I prefer to use a free range or organic bird for this special occasion.
To test if the turkey crown is cooked pierce the thickest part with a long clean skewer or knitting needle. If the juices run clear, it is ready, if a little pink then return to the oven and cook a little longer.