Sunday, 1 January 2012

Roast Turkey with Cranberry Pistachio Stuffing

I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful, large Canter Valley Turkey from work as a Christmas gift (score!). Being a self confessed amateur cook and having never prepared a roast turkey before, this was a whole new learning curve. In fact I even roasted the thing the wrong way round. But you learn from your mistakes and it still tasted fantastic! This recipe has been adapted from The Cooking Book (a highly useful addition to anyone’s cookbook library).

Roast Turkey with Cranberry Pistachio Stuffing

Serves 8-10 (the turkey weighed about 4.7kg)

15g butter, melted
4 streaky bacon rashers

For the stuffing:
45g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
125g breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons dried parsley
115g fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
60g pistachio nuts, chopped
Freshly ground salt and pepper
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons milk (enough to make a firm mixture)

For the stuffing, melt the butter in a large saucepan; add the onion and fry, stirring occasionally, until soft.
Remove from heat; add the breadcrumbs, parsley, cranberries and pistachios. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Leave to cool; then add the eggs whites and milk.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Stuff the turkey with enough stuffing to fill the cavity, reserve the rest (around 8 tablespoons). Weigh the turkey and base the cooking time on the turkey bag instructions. In this case, three hours total cooking time.

Place the turkey in a roasting pan, brush the melted butter over the skin and sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil. Roast for calculated time or until turkey juices run clear when pierced through the thickest part. Baste occasionally and remove foil for the last half an hour to brown the skin.
Divide the remaining stuffing into 8 and roll into balls. Cut the bacon rashers in half and roll a piece around each stuffing ball. Place in a lightly oiled baking tray.
When turkey is cooked, remove from oven, cover with foil and let it stand for 20minutes. In the meantime, increase the oven temperature to 200°C and cook the stuffing balls for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve turkey with stuffing balls and any other accompaniments. We had some roast potatoes and a simple green salad. Yum!

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