A delicious recipe for a succulent turkey with a layer of pancetta, tasty stuffing and plenty of scrumptious gravy. A turkey serves a large number of people and they can choose from light or dark meat.
For the stuffing, melt the butter in a frying pan, add the onion and celery and fry gently for 8-10 mins until soft but uncoloured. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute. If using the turkey liver, add now and cook for a minute. Cool the mix then combine with the sausage meat, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and egg. Combine well. (The stuffing can be made the day ahead but don’t stuff the turkey until just before cooking.)
Defrost the turkey over 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Remove the neck, heart and liver (you can use the liver in the stuffing and roast the neck alongside the turkey to add flavour to the stock). Pat dry the turkey inside and out. Season the insides generously and stuff the two cavities with the stuffing - allowing some room for expansion. Roll any remaining stuffing into balls and add to the roasting pan in the last hour of cooking.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Fold the wing tips on to the back of the turkey and secure the legs with twine. Lightly grease a large roasting dish with olive oil. Smear the turkey with the butter and weave or drape the pancetta over the turkey breasts. Add the stock to the pan and put into the oven.
After 30 mins, baste with the pan juices, reduce the oven to 160°C and roast for a further 1½ -2 hours, basting with pan juices every 30 mins, until the juices run clear when the flesh is pierced with a skewer. If the pancetta looks as though it is darkening too quickly, cover loosely with baking paper or foil.
Transfer the turkey to another warmed roasting dish (reserving the used dish and juices) and leave to rest covered for at least 20 mins and up to 40 mins.
To make a gravy, reserve the cooking liquid into a jug. Place the reserved roasting dish over a medium heat and add flour. Stir to combine and cook out the flour, scraping the caramelised bits off the pan. Add the reserved stock, bring to the boil and simmer until thickened. Season to taste, strain through a sieve and put into a warmed gravy jug.
Carve the turkey and place on serving plates, or a platter accompanied with the stuffing and a jug of the gravy.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons thyme leaves, finely chopped
Liver from the turkey (optional), chopped
450g L’Authentique French Grind sausage meat
4 cups fresh bread crumbs (Wild Wheat white sourdough)
½ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
For the turkey
1 x 4kg Croziers turkey
25g butter, softened
160g pancetta slices
250ml Foundation Foods chicken stock
¼ cup plain flour
Olive oil for greasing roasting dish