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Christmas (Thanksgiving) Turkey

Asked by Flixchic75. Answered on 23rd October 2011

Full question

I'm going to have more about 20 people over for Thanksgiving this year. I usually have only 4 of us and I always use Nigella's brining recipe, but with this many more people, I am going to need a bigger turkey! How should I increase the brining recipe for my bigger turkey? Thanks - Heidi

Our answer

Nigella's brining recipe in Christmas (p115) will cover a bird up to 12lbs/5.5kg. This size of turkey should feed 14 if you have plenty of sides, but for 20 you will need a slightly bigger turkey (roughly 18-20lbs/8-9kg). If the turkey was only slughtyl bigger then you could top the brine up with a little extra water but as this is somewhat bigger we would suggest making 1 1/4 times the turkey brine. If it is not quite covering the turkey still then just top up with 1 to 2 cups of extra water.

Larger turkeys are likely to need slightly longer brining and we would suggest allowing up to 2 days for this type of bird. Also make sure that the turkey is brought up to room temperature before it gos in the oven as this will help it to cook much more quickly. For a table of cooking times please see Christmas (p117) or Feast (p6).

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