5 kg fresh free-range whole turkey
¼ cup olive oil
fresh bay leaves, to garnish
Cranberry and pecan stuffing
50 g butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
100 g pancetta, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
6 slices sourdough bread, torn (200g)
½ cup chopped dried cranberries
2 tsp finely grated orange rind
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pan juices, reserved from cooking turkey
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
½ cup gravy powder
3 cups boiling water
¼ cup jellied cranberry sauce
- To make stuffing, melt butter in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion, pancetta, garlic and tarragon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well.
- Remove and discard neck from turkey. Rinse turkey under cold water. Pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Spoon 3 cups of stuffing into body cavity and spoon remaining into crown. Fold over flap of skin. Secure with toothpicks. Tuck wings underneath. Secure legs together with unwaxed kitchen string.
- Place turkey, breast-side up, in an extra large, oiled flameproof roasting pan. Brush with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pan completely with greased foil.
- Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for 3 hours. Remove from oven. Discard foil. Brush with cooking juices. Return to same oven.
- Cook for a further 25 to 35 minutes, brushing with cooking juices halfway through, or until juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into thickest part of the thigh. Transfer turkey to a large plate. Rest, covered with foil, for 15 minutes.
- To make gravy, place roasting pan with pan juices over a medium heat. Add vinegar. Reduce by half. Blend gravy powder with boiling water in a heatproof jug. Pour into pan. Gently boil, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in cranberry sauce.
- Serve turkey with gravy and stuffing.