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Richard Blais 5 Spice Wet Brine Roasted Turkey


Homemade 5 Spice Blend Ingredients: 

5 tablespoons whole white peppercorns

8 tablespoons fennel seed

12 pieces of star anise

3 tablespoons cloves

2-3 cinnamon sticks

Brine Ingredients:

½ cup of Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt

2 gallons of cool water.

Orange Sauce Ingredients:

1 small white onion diced

12 garlic cloves minced

2-3 cups turkey, duck or chicken stock

1 quart orange juice

1 tablespoon of Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt

3-4 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1-2 pounds of butter



Homemade 5 Spice Blend Instructions:

Here’s a simple dynamic take on a traditional roast turkey by stuffing the bird under its skin with some soft butter and seasoning the wet brine and skin with 5 spices which has a wonderful aromatic and sweet aroma that is perfect for turkey! Making a homemade 5 spice blend is strongly recommended, but if you must buy it premade, avoid one that uses Szechuan pepper, which can have a polarizing taste. You can make your own by toasting whole spices and pulverizing them in a coffee grinder. You’ll need around a 1/2 cup of 5 spice mixture for this recipe, regardless of your turkey’s size.

Brine Instructions:

Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. Unwrap it, remove and save the neck and giblets for another use, and you’re ready to get started. Rinse turkey in cool water, then pat dry with paper towels. For a wet brine, in a stockpot, completely dissolve 3 tablespoons of the homemade 5 spice blend and ½ cup of Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt mixed into 2 gallons of cool water. Then completely submerge turkey in the brine. If you’re using a brining bag, place the turkey in the bag, then fill with your brine until the bird is completely submerged. Refrigerate turkey in the brine for at least 8 hours but no more than 14 hours. Remove turkey from the brine, then discard the brine. Rinse turkey inside and out under cool running water for several minutes to remove the brine ingredients. For crispier skin, place turkey in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered or loosely covered for 8 hours. Almost time to get cooking. Remove turkey from the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes to bring to room temperature before putting it in the oven.

Orange Sauce Instructions:

After the bird comes out of the wet brine and is rinsed and patted dry, season the bird liberally with the remaining five spice mixture. Using a pastry bag or your hands, wiggle the birds skin away from the flesh and fill the underside of the bird’s skin over the breast with the butter at room temperature. Place the seasoned turkey in a roasting pan on a rack, untrussed and cook the bird at 325 degrees F degrees F breast side up for 3- 4 hours depending on the size of your turkey. This is roughly 15 minutes a pound at 325 degrees F. At 3 hours, toss in the garlic and chopped onion and give the bird a nice basting with its own juices. Turn the oven up to 350 degrees F to brown the bird for its last 1/2 hour to hour of cooking. Now, add 3 cups of orange juice, and the Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt to the pan. Remove the bird when the internal temperature at the deepest part of the breast reaches 165 degrees F and put the bird on a platter for carving and let it rest. Combine the ingredients from the pan and whisk in the remaining cup of orange juice using a blender to buzz the sauce to emulsify. Adjust with a little more salt and a splash of sherry vinegar.