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Recipe: Turkey with Apricot and Almond Stuffing

This recipe comes courtesy of Julie Goodwin. I met Julie last year when I was invited to participate in the filming of the Women’s Weekly Christmas Special. It was great day of cooking and laughing and I learnt so much.

(Julie also recommends brining your turkey to ensure moist and succulent meat. Find the details on how to brine your turkey here.)

Ingredients:

Apricot and almond stuffing

  • 6 rashers of bacon, rind removed, cut into 5mm strips
  • 4 medium brown onions, chopped
  • 200g dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • loaf three-day-old bread, crusts removed
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 5 kg turkey
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • mixed fresh herbs or watercress, to serve

Apricot sauce

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups apricot nectar
  • 1/4 cup cornflour

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees C fan-forced).
  • Make apricot and almond stuffing:
    • Cook the bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown. Add the onion; cook, stirring, until it is soft but not coloured. Add 1/2 cup water, apricots and thyme; cook, stirring, until the water evaporates. Transfer to a large bowl; cool slightly.
    • Process the bread to a very coarse crumb.
    • Add the breadcrumbs to the onion mixture with nuts; season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add enough of the melted butter to bring the stuffing together. Sit stuffing aside.
  • Rinse the cavity of the turkey inside and out; pat dry with paper towel.
  • Place the turkey into a large baking dish. Place some of the stuffing in the neck cavity; pull the skin down and secure with a skewer or toothpick. Loosely fill the main cavity with stuffing; tie legs together and tuck wings under body. Brush with a little melted butter.
  • Roast turkey, uncovered, for 4 hours or until cooked when tested.
  • As juices collect in the baking dish, spoon or brush them over the breast. Pour out excess juices and reserve if they are not browning towards the end of cooking time; the pan juices need to have some colour for a good sauce. If parts of the turkey start to colour too quickly, cover them with greased foil.
  • Transfer the turkey to a large platter; cover with foil, and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Reserve the baking dish and pan juices for sauce.
  • Meanwhile, pile the extra stuffing into a shallow ovenproof dish. Drizzle the stuffing with any remaining butter and a little of the reserved turkey pan juices. Bake stuffing on separate shelf with turkey for 30-40 minutes or until crunchy and golden.
  • Make apricot sauce:
    • Place the baking dish with 1/2 cup of the turkey pan juices on the stove over a low heat.
    • Add the cornflour and use a wooden spoon to stir through the juices, scraping up the baked-on brown bits.
    • Start adding the apricot nectar, 1/4 cup at a time, allowing the sauce to boil and thicken between additions. Add the stock in the same way.
    • Stir in the sugar and vinegar; simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency.
    • Taste and add salt and ground white pepper, if needed.
  • Serve turkey with herbs, stuffing and apricot sauce.

 

 

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