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Buttermilk-Brined Turkey Breast with Sage Butter

Recipe by Tobie Puttock

  • FOR THE BRINE
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
  • ¼ cup of sea salt
  • ½ bunch freshly picked sage leaves (about 5)
  • 5-6 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of peppercorns
  • FOR THE TURKEY
  • 1 boneless turkey breast, skin on (approx 1.5kg)
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 litre buttermilk
  • FOR THE SAGE BUTTER
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Small handful freshly picked sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

1) To make the brine, take a saucepan with a 2-3 litre capacity and bring together a litre of water with the juniper berries, sea salt, half the sage, bay leaves, garlic and peppercorns. Place over a high heat, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

2) Take a bowl or ceramic container large enough to hold the turkey breast, pour in the cooled brine mixture and then stir in the buttermilk. Lower the turkey breast into the buttermilk mixture, cover and pop into the fridge for 3 hours.

3) While the turkey is in the brine, make the sage butter. Bring together the butter, chopped sage, crushed garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper and mix until well combined.

4) Preheat the oven to 170°C.

5) Remove the turkey breast from the brine mixture and pat dry using paper towel.

Use your fingers to tunnel in-between the skin and the turkey flesh, push the sage butter into the pocket and then flatten the butter as evenly under the skin as you can. Season generously on both sides with sea salt and cracked pepper.

6) Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil along with the butter in an oven-proof roasting pan over a medium heat. Carefully place the turkey skin side down into the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the skin is golden in colour. Turn the turkey over and cook for a further 4-5 minutes. Place the pan into the oven and cook for approximately 1 hour or until the core temperature of the turkey is 65°C. If the base of the pan becomes dry during the cooking add a little water to the base of the pan.

7) Once cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest, loosely covered with foil for at least ten minutes before carving. Serve with your favourite sides.

Serves 8.

Watch Tobie make it here.

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