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Roast turkey with sage and pine nut stuffing


Serves: 10-12
timePrep time: 1 hr 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Roast turkey with sage and pine nut stuffing
Recipe photograph by Kris Kirkham

Roast turkey with sage and pine nut stuffing

This clever, make-ahead method means you can enjoy a traditional turkey roast on Christmas Day without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Giving you back precious time to spend with family

Serves: 10-12
timePrep time: 1 hr 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (150g cooked meat, plus stuffing)
Calories
468Kcal
Fat
22gr
Saturates
7gr
Carbs
13gr
Sugars
7gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
52gr
Salt
1.9gr

Marcus Wareing

Marcus Wareing

Two Michelin-starred chef patron of restaurant Marcus and judge on Masterchef: The Professionals. As a restauranter, he runs The Gilbert Scott at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and Tredwells. Marcus is also the author of seven outstanding cookbooks and loved for his refined British cuisine.
See more of Marcus Wareing’s recipes
Marcus Wareing

Marcus Wareing

Two Michelin-starred chef patron of restaurant Marcus and judge on Masterchef: The Professionals. As a restauranter, he runs The Gilbert Scott at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and Tredwells. Marcus is also the author of seven outstanding cookbooks and loved for his refined British cuisine.
See more of Marcus Wareing’s recipes

Ingredients

For the brine
  • 250g fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 10g thyme sprigs
  • 20g rosemary sprigs
  • 1.5ltr orange juice
  • 1 x 4.5-5.5kg turkey
For the stuffing
  • 30ml Madeira or sweet vermouth
  • 60g golden raisins or sultanas
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 150g stale bread, crumbed
  • 150g sausage meat
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp chopped sage
To cook the turkey
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved
  • 10g thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp oil or goose fat

Step by step

Get ahead
Start 2 days ahead. Leftovers keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.
  1. Start this recipe 2 days ahead of roasting. For the brine, put the salt, spices, and herbs in a large pan with 2 litres water. Slowly bring to the boil, until the salt has dissolved then remove from the heat and add the orange juice. Leave to cool completely.
  2. Prepare your turkey crown and boned legs. You can find a guide to preparing your turkey HERE.

    Add these to the cooled brine in a suitable container, cover and leave for 24 hours in a cool place or the fridge. Brining yields juicier meat and a fuller flavour.
  3. For the stuffing, gently heat the Madeira in a small pan, add the raisins, cover and leave to soak for an hour. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the onion, garlic, pine nuts and a pinch of salt; cook until the onion is soft. Tip into a bowl, add the crumbs and cool slightly before mixing in the sausage meat, egg, sage, Madeira- soaked raisins and some black pepper. Cover and chill.
  4. Next morning (Christmas Eve), remove the turkey from the brine, rinse with fresh water and pat dry. Put the crown back in the fridge on a plate, loosely covered with baking paper. Lay the boned legs out flat on a board and place a sausage shape of stuffing in the centre. Roll the legs up around the stuffing, tie with string to secure then roll tightly in clingfilm (use enough to wrap around the roulades about 3 times) and knot the ends, taking care to remove any air bubbles. Chill for at least 2 hours or until ready to cook. Roll any remaining stuffing mixture into small balls, cover and chill with the stuffed legs.
  5. Later on the same day, remove the crown and legs from the fridge at least an hour before cooking, so that they aren’t fridge-cold. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the onion, garlic and thyme. Reduce the heat and add the crown and rolled legs (still wrapped in clingfilm). If you don’t have a big enough pan to cook them together, the legs can be cooked in another pan. Bring the water back to a very gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour; the key here is to cook the meat slowly and be careful not to let the water boil. The internal temperature of the meat should measure 70°C on a temperature probe.
  6. Remove from the poaching pan and cool. Chill overnight, leaving the legs wrapped, but the crown uncovered so that the skin dries out.
  7. On Christmas Day, remove the turkey crown and legs from the fridge at least an hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Place the turkey crown on a wire rack set inside a foil-lined roasting tin and brush with the oil or goose fat. Roast for 20 minutes; unwrap the legs, remove the string and add to the roasting rack. Roast for a further 30-40 minutes until golden brown and you can see the juices bubbling up under the skin (check with a temperature probe as above, or use a metal skewer and test it against the inside of your wrist; it should feel hot.) Leave to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. While resting, place the stuffing balls on a baking tray and cook for 20 minutes. Serve alongside the turkey crown, stuffed legs and other traditional accompaniments. Leftover turkey keeps for up to 3 days in the fridge, well-wrapped.
    Tip
    Making gravy? After prepping the turkey, brown the bones for 40 mins with carrot, onion and celery in a hot oven. Tip into a large pot, deglaze the tin with Madeira then cover the bones with water. Simmer for 1-2 hours. Strain, cool and chill, and use to make gravy.

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