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Buttermilk Brined Turkey

Buttermilk Brined Turkey
Recipe type: Dinner
Time of Year: Anytime
Marinating your Turkey in Buttermilk will make it so much more tender.
  • Brine
  • 1kg salt
  • 20L water
  • 3 bunches thyme
  • 20 juniper berries
  • 2 liters Buttermilk
  • 5kg turkey
  • To Cook
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2L chicken stock
  • 2 bunches sage
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • Stuffing
  • 30g butter
  • 4 bacon rashers, rind removed, finely chopped
  • 1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 140g (2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs (made from day-old bread)
  • 55g (1/2 cup) walnut halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh sage
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring the salt, water, thyme and juniper berries to a simmer in a large pot then set aside to cool, add buttermilk when cooled. Place the turkey in a basin at least twice as large as the bird. Pour the cold brine over the bird and set aside for 12 hours.
  2. Melt 20g of the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add bacon, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, walnuts, sage and egg and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towel. Fill the cavity with breadcrumb mixture. Tie the legs together with unwaxed white kitchen string. Tuck the wings under. Place turkey, breast-side up, in a roasting pan.
  4. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Brush turkey with butter and bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Bring the stock, sage, pepper and butter to a boil and baste onto the turkey. Bake for another 45 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. Turn the heat up to 220°C and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with foil and a heavy towel, and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.