Roast turkey is a Christmas favourite with its stuffing, crispy skin, moist tender white meat and richly flavoured dark meat. Make sure there’s plenty of gravy and crispy roast potatoes, and serve with traditional cranberries. This recipe is sure to please this festive season.
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Pat dry the turkey with paper towel. Spoon the pork, apple and sage stuffing into the turkey breast. Bring the neck flap over to the back and secure with a poultry pin. Spoon the lemon and parsley stuffing into the body cavity. Press the bird into a good shape with both hands. Weigh stuffed turkey to calculate cooking time (allow 35 minutes per 1 kg).
Place the turkey on its back, with the legs facing you. Position the centre of a piece of string below the breast at the neck end, bringing down over the wings to cross underneath the bird. Bring the string forward and upwards to tie the ends of the drumsticks and parson’s nose together.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread the butter over the turkey and season with pepper. Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, propping up the legs with crumpled foil if necessary. Cover the pan with a tent of greased foil.
Roast for calculated cooking time. Baste every 25 minutes with the pan juices and remove the foil for the last 30 minutes to brown. Remove to a heated platter, cover loosely with foil and leave in a warm place for 20–30 minutes while finishing off vegetables and gravy. Alternatively, roast the turkey in an oven bag, following the packet directions.
Remove the string and poultry pin. Carve from the top of the breast with straight, even strokes, downwards. Cut between the thigh and body of the bird through the joint. Remove the leg by pressing it outwards with a knife and bending it back with a fork. Separate the thighs and drumsticks and slice off the dark meat; remove the wings. Carve the crop stuffing into thin slices and remove cavity stuffing with a spoon.
Recipe from Margaret Fulton Christmas by Margaret Fulton, with photographs by Mark Roper. Published by Hardie Grant Books.