By Chef Honoré Gbedze
Preparation Time 20 minutes
Marinating Time 8 hours
Cooking Time 4 hours
1 Turkey (15 – 20 pounds)
12 litres of cold water or enough to cover the turkey
1 cup coarse salt
1 lemon, sliced in half
1 orange, sliced in half
4 bay leaves
3 cinnamon sticks
Handful of cloves
1 head garlic, cut in half across the cloves
Combine all the ingredients for the brine in a container or large pot that can hold the turkey and water. Ensure the salt is fully dissolved. Add the turkey and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Remove turkey from brine and transfer to a roasting pan with a rack. Stuff turkey with the lemon halves, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks used in the brine.
Cook turkey for 3 ½-4 hours, basting every 40 minutes or so. If any part of the turkey gets too brown towards the end of cooking, shield with pieces of tin foil. When the turkey is done, juices should run clear from the breast and the legs should pull away from the bird easily. Remove from the heat and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
I recommend that the turkey be served whole to enhance the festive presentation and to showcase the bird.