prosecco brined turkey breast

with brussels sprouts and speck

  • ¼ cup (75g) rock salt 
  • ¼ cup (45g) light brown sugar
  • 2 sprigs tarragon 
  • 2 bunches thyme (about 12 sprigs)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1.25 litres water
  • 3 cups (750ml) prosecco 
  • 2 x 1.5kg turkey breast fillets, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 350g speck or bacon, chopped
  • 500g Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 bunch thyme (about 6 sprigs), extra
  • lemon garlic butter
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed 
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  1. Place the salt, sugar, tarragon, thyme, lemon and 2 cups (500ml) of the water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 4 minutes, stirring to dissolve the salt. Allow to cool slightly. Pour the brining liquid into a large (5-litre-capacity) non-reactive container+. Add the prosecco and another 2 cups (500ml) of the water. Using your hands, carefully loosen the skin from the flesh of the turkey breasts. Lower the turkey, skin-side down, into the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours (but no longer). 
  2. To make the lemon garlic butter, place the butter, garlic and lemon rind in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Remove the turkey from the container, discarding the brine, and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Using your hands, spread the lemon garlic butter under the skin. 
  4. Place the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Add 1 turkey breast to the pan, skin-side down. Cook for 4 minutes each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining turkey. Return both turkey breasts to the pan, skin-side up. Add the remaining 1 cup (250ml) of water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove the turkey from the pan, loosely cover with aluminium foil and reserve the cooking liquid. 
  5. Wipe the pan out and return to medium heat. Add the speck and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until crispy. Remove and set aside. Increase the heat to high, add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until lightly charred. Add the extra thyme and reserved liquid and cook for 2 minutes. 
  6. Serve turkey with the sprouts and crispy speck. Serves 4–6

+ Non-reactive materials include glass, plastic and stainless steel.

Photography: Con Poulos

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