1 loaf 3-day-old bread
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup prunes, chopped (seeds removed)
freshly ground black
pepper, to taste
1. Remove the crusts from the bread and break the loaf up into eighths. Place the bread in a blender and process until breadcrumbs
form. (Note: stale bread is best for making stuffing, as it absorbs the flavours of the bird and creates a better final texture.)
2. Melt the butter in a large, non-stick pan over a gentle heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until
3. Add the sage, walnuts, apricots and prunes and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir through the breadcrumbs
and check the consistency of the stuffing by pressing some of the mixture onto a tablespoon. If it holds together well it
is moist enough. If it looks wet and doughy, add more breadcrumbs to the mix. If it crumbles and falls off the spoon, add
more melted butter.
4. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 175C for gas ovens and 180C for electric ovens. Note: a 4kg turkey will cook in an oven at 175C in
2 hours. If your turkey is larger, lower the temperature slightly and increase the cooking time; if your turkey is smaller,
increase the temperature and reduce the cooking time.
1. Wash the turkey and dry both inside and outside the bird
thoroughly with paper towels. Remove any innards that may have been re-packaged into the bird.
2. Stuff the turkey
by taking handfuls of stuffing mixture and placing it inside the cavity of the bird. (Tip: squeeze the stuffing just tightly
enough so that it holds together - squeezing it too tightly makes it turn lumpy and it may not cook properly.)
Fold the wings under the bird then tie up the legs with butcher's twine (do not use wool or string as these might burn). Brush
the turkey with a little olive oil and sprinkle some salt over it.
4. Place the turkey on a rack over a tray of water
in the oven. (Tip: use some of the water from the tray when making your gravy.)
5. Cook according to the instructions
for the size of your turkey - a turkey timer is sometimes inserted in birds weighing under 4.4kg, and pops up when the turkey
is done. You can also check how the bird is cooking by cutting at the thickest point of its body, between the thigh and the
breast. If the juice on the knife is clear, the turkey is cooked. Alternatively use a meat thermometer and insert it into
the thigh of the turkey; when it reads 85C it's done.
6. If the turkey is browning unevenly, you may need to turn
it. Do this while basting it in the glaze (see below for the turkey glaze recipe).
7. Cut off the twine when the turkey
is cooked, don't try to untie it.
8. To serve, remove the thighs, legs and wings. Separate the leg from the thigh
then carve the breast.