Habanero-Brined Roasted Turkey with Cranberry Kumquat Chutney Recipe

Habanero-Brined Roasted Turkey with Cranberry Kumquat Chutney Recipe
  • Yield:10 to 12 servings


  • For the brine:
  • 2 cups salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • 8 habanero chiles
  • For the turkey:
  • 1 (12 to 15 lb.) turkey
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 habanero chiles
  • 4 tbsp butter, softened and divided, plus extra
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth, divided
  • Cranberry-Kumquat Chutney (recipe below)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh kumquats, washed
  • 1 habanero chile. seeded and minced
  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. 1.

    Make the brine: In a large stockpot with a lid, combine salt and sugar with 2 and 1/2 gallons cold water. Stir to dissolve, and add garlic and pepper. Wearing gloves. slice the habaneros almost into quarters, but leave the stem-end intact. Place habaneros into the brine, and stir.

  2. 2.

    Remove the giblets from the turkey, and refrigerate. Rinse the turkey with cool water, and place it into the brine, making sure the bird is fully submerged. Cover the stockpot with plastic wrap and the lid, and rrefrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

  3. 3.

    When ready to cook the turkey, preheat oven to 400°. Wearing gloves, take turkey out of the brine, discard brine, and pat dry. Place the reserved giblets in the bottom of a roasting pan, and place the turkey, breast-up on top of the giblets.

  4. 4.

    Place onion in a bowl. Cut habaneros nearly in quarters, keeping stem end attached, and add to onions. In a small pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter, and pour over the onion and habaneros. Wearing gloves, toss mixture gently with your hands. Place inside turkey cavity.

  5. 5.

    Rub the remaining butter all over the outside of the turkey, and sprinkle with pepper. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen twine, and tuck wingtips up and under the wings, so they don't burn. Cover the turkey breast with a buttered sheet of aluminum foil, and place in the oven.

  6. 6.

    Roast for 50 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the broth to just a simmer, and keep warm. After 50 minutes, remove the foil from the breast, and baste with 1/2 cup of the warmed broth.

  7. 7.

    Continue to cook, basting with pan juices every 30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads about 165°. Baste with the remaining 1/4 cup broth if the pan becomes too dry.

  8. 8.

    The turkey should need 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours total cooking time. If the legs become too brown, cover them with foil while you continue to cook. Remove from the oven, and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Carve, and serve with Cranberry-Kumquat Chutney.

  9. 9.

    Cranberry-Kumquat Chutney

  10. 10.

    - makes about 2 1/2 cups -

  11. 11.

    Zest Factor: Hot

  12. 12.

    Stem, and slice each kumquat into think rounds, discarding seeds, and place in a small saucepan.

  13. 13.

    Place the saucepan over low heat, and add about 1/4 cup water. Cover, and simmer until rounds start to soften. Uncover, and cook for about 10 minutes, adding a little water if the kumquat mixture becomes too dry.

  14. 14.

    When the mixture is thick and syrupy, stir in the chile, and cook for 1 minute. Add cranberry sauce, stir to combine, and turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper, place the mixture in a bowl, and allow to cool.

  15. 15.

    Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature with turkey