buttermilk-brined sage turkey breast

with red currant sauce

  • 1 x 1.7kg boneless turkey breast fillet, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 4 eschalots (French shallots), peeled and halved
  • 2½ cups (625ml) water
  • 1 bunch sage leaves
  • ¼ cup (80g) store-bought red currant jelly
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, plus extra to serve
  • ¼ cup (60ml) Worcestershire sauce

buttermilk and sage brine

  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tablespoon crushed juniper berries
  • ¼ cup (60g) table salt
  • 1 bunch sage 
  • 1 sprig bay leaves
  • ¼ cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 litre buttermilk 

sage butter

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped sage leaves
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  1. To make the brine, place the water, juniper berries, salt, sage, bay leaves, sugar, garlic and peppercorns in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Allow to cool completely before pouring the mixture into a large (3-litre-capacity) non-reactive container. Add the buttermilk and stir to combine. Lower the turkey into the brine, cover and refrigerate for 2–3 hours (but no longer).
  2. To make the sage butter, place the butter, garlic, sage, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine. Remove the turkey from the brining liquid and pat dry. Carefully loosen the skin from the flesh and, using a spoon, spread the sage butter under the skin. 
  3. Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper and add to the pan, skin-side down, with the eschalot. Cook for 6–8 minutes or until the skin is golden. Turn and cook for a further 4 minutes. Add the water and sage and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 30–35 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the turkey and eschalot from the poaching liquid, cover with aluminium foil and keep warm. Strain the poaching liquid into a jug, discarding the sage. Return the liquid to the pan, place over high heat and bring to a simmer. Add the red currant jelly, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and cook, whisking, for 10–12 minutes or until reduced slightly. Serve the turkey and eschalot with the red currant sauce and extra mustard. Serves 6–8.
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