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