The turkey is often the crowning glory of a Christmas Day meal. As such, under all that guest scrutiny, you want to make sure you get it just right. This Roast Turkey with Stuffing Balls is sure to impress.
4kg turkey, defrosted, cleaned
1 quantity Pork, Hazelnut and Craisin Stuffing (see recipe, below)
1 onion, cut in half
1 lemon, cut into wedges
40g softened butter
100g pancetta, torn
8-10 sage leaves
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Roast pumpkin and roast potatoes, to serve
Cranberry sauce, to serve
Preheat oven to 180°C. Pat turkey dry with paper towel. Stuff neck cavity with about 500g of the stuffing (set aside remaining stuffing), gently pushing in as much as possible, then tuck flap under. Tuck/twist wings under body. Transfer turkey to a large roasting pan with a wire rack. Fill base with 1 cup water or stock.
Stuff cavity with onion and lemon. Using kitchen string, truss legs. Smear butter into breast and season. Cover with several sheets of baking paper then foil to seal. Bake for 2 hours, adding more water/stock to pan, if needed.
Remove paper and foil, baste with pan juices, and cook, basting every 1/2 hour, for 1 1/2 hours or until cooked and golden brown. Set aside loosely covered in foil for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm roasting pan. Roll remaining stuffing mixture into 1⁄3 cup-sized balls and arrange in pan. Top with pancetta and sage. Drizzle with oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden, draining excess pan juices during last 10 minutes of cooking. Rest (see tips, above).
Carve turkey and serve with stuffing balls, roasted veg and cranberry sauce.
Pork Hazelnut and Craisin Stuffing
Makes about 2.4kg
400g sourdough bread loaf
3/4 cup milk
2 onions, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
100g pancetta, chopped
1.5kg pork mince
1 bunch sage, leaves chopped
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted, chopped
1/2 cup craisins
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Slice crust off loaf, then cut bread into 1cm cubes. Toss with milk and 1/2 cup water. Set aside to soften.
Melt butter in a medium frying pan over a medium heat, then add onion, celery and pancetta. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until onion is softened. Set aside in a large bowl to cool.
Squeeze excess liquid from bread mixture and add bread to onion mixture with mince, sage, hazelnuts and craisins. Season with sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Using clean hands, mix well.
Reserve 1⁄3 of the stuffing mixture (500-800g) to stuff turkey neck (you may need less, depending on size of turkey), then use remaining mixture to make stuffing balls.