Roast Turkey with Bacon,Apricot and Cranberry Stuffing
So today’s recipe is for the Christmas centerpiece a roast turkey. I have memories of my mum getting up at 6 to put the oven to prepare a monster of a turkey for the family. As in popular legend, it did seem that we ate turkey leftovers for days after. You should never put stuffing into a turkey cavity as it will not cook properly and could be a health risk but I do like to stuff the breast end of the bird which helps keep the meat moist. I have included my favourite stuffing recipe.
Heat a generous splash of olive oil large frying pan and cook the bacon strips until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper and cut into thin slices when cool.
Add the onion, garlic, and celery to the saucepan and sauté for about ten minutes until soft and golden brown.
Take the pan off the heat, add the breadcrumbs and stir together, transfer to a large bowl and allow to thoroughly cool. When cool add the pork mince, thyme, dried fruits, lemon zest, nutmeg, egg and lots of salt and pepper, and mix everything together well.
For the Turkey
Take the turkey out of the fridge a couple of hours before roasting to get up to room temperature. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450 F / 230 C / Gas mark 8. Give your turkey a good wipe, inside and out, with kitchen paper, and season the cavity really well.
Next place the turkey on a board, with the neck end towards you. Find the edge of the skin that’s covering the turkey’s breasts and carefully peel it back. Gently ease your fingers and then your hand under the skin, teasing it away from the meat. You should be able to pull all the skin away from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides. Carefully spoon your prepared stuffing between the skin and the breast, tucking the flap of skin underneath to stop anything seeping out.
Weigh the stuffed turkey and calculate the cooking time allow twenty minutes per every five hundred grams.
Place the lemon halves, one onion, half the thyme and one piece of rosemary inside the turkey cavity. Dab the butter all over the turkey, especially over the breasts, season generously and then cover with the streaky bacon.
Place the turkey on a large roasting tray, and add the chopped carrots, onions, and remaining herbs, cover with tinfoil and place in the preheated oven. Cook for twenty minutes then turn the heat down to 350 F/ 180 C / Gas Mark 4 and roast for the allotted time, or until the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced with it a small, sharp knife.
Remove the tinfoil for the last forty minutes to allow the turkey to brown. Carefully lift the turkey out of the tray and rest on a tray, somewhere warm, loosely covered in foil and a couple of folded tea towels, for about an hour.
For the Gravy
Very carefully skim the surface fat from the roasting tray and add port. Place on a medium heat and sift in the flour. Stir really well and slowly pour in the stock, when the gravy starts to thicken, reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes stirring regularly.
Strain it into a pan ready to reheat. Carve your turkey at the table, serve with all the trimmings, the gravy and enjoy.
What to Drink? Oaked Chardonnay ( white ) and Chilean Merlot ( red ) are good matches for turkey with all the trimmings and gravy as are Amber style ales and American IPA's.Allergens in this recipe are;Please see the Allergens Page