For me, the centrepiece of any Christmas feast has to be a roast turkey and this is the one I make every year because my mum loves it. The stuffing takes its name from the well-known song, but it’s not just because the lyrics are nice, the parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme work fantastically well together too!
For me, the stuffing in poultry is like a cultural exchange, the flavour of the bird goes into the stuffing, and the flavour of the stuffing goes into the bird. It’s a perfect match.
- 5-6 kg whole turkey
- 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
- 3 carrots, halved lengthways
- 50 g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 250 ml (1 cup) white wine
Scarborough Fair stuffing
- 1 loaf good quality soft white bread, crust removed
- 200 g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bunch each of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) milk, chicken stock, water or white wine, approximately
Hot orange glaze
- zest and juice of 2 oranges
- 60 ml (¼ cup) honey
- 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
- 1 tbsp Cointreau
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.
Resting time 30 minutes
Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
To make the stuffing, tear the bread into small pieces and place in a large bowl.
Melt 50 g butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 6-7 minutes or until translucent and soft but not coloured. Remove from pan from the heat, add the remaining butter and stand until melted. Pick the herbs off their stems, then finely chop to give about 1 cup of chopped herbs. Add the herbs, softened onions and salt to the bread and use your hands to combine well. Add just enough of the milk, stock, water or wine to moisten the mixture.
Rinse the turkey under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towel. Remove and reserve the neck if still attached and cut into 2-3 pieces. Place the neck pieces, onion and carrot on the bottom of a large heavy-base roasting tin, then place the turkey on top. Push the stuffing into both the neck and rear cavity of the bird. To truss the turkey, place a large piece of string under the centre of the neck flap, then bring it across the wings to pin them to the body and under the legs. Loop the string under the parson’s nose and tie the legs together at the ankles. Rub the turkey all over with the softened butter and season well with salt. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 2 hours, basting every half hour with the juices collecting in the pan. After 2 hours, uncover the pan and roast for another hour or until the skin is golden.
While the turkey is roasting, place all ingredients for the hot orange glaze in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes until thick and glossy. After the turkey has been roasting for a total of 3 hours, begin to brush the skin with the glaze every 15 minutes for another additional 45 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven and cover loosely with foil. Rest the turkey for about 20-30 minutes in a draught-free place, continuing to brush the turkey with hot glaze every 15 minutes, even while resting.
To make a gravy, remove the turkey from the pan, then drain off and reserve any pan juices, leaving the vegetables, and turkey neck in the pan. There shouldn’t be too much oil in the pan but if there is, you may want to drain some of it off. Place the pan over low heat and scatter the flour over the vegetables. Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any cooked on pieces, then add the wine and combine well, roughly mashing the vegetables with the back of the spoon. Add the reserve pan juices and any juices from resting turkey and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Strain through a sieve and check the seasoning.
Destination Flavour Christmas airs December 11, 8:30pm on SBS ONE.