Stuffed turkey with honey roasted parsnips, carrots and sprouts
In the run up to Thanksgiving, a turkey feast was a must for my dear American readers. The ultra flavoursome stuffing combines juicy raisins, crunchy pine nuts, pancetta and apples. I used thyme and rosemary for extra flavour instead of traditional sage, which I find overpowering. Add winter vegetables roasted in white wine, butter and honey to a meltingly divine state, and you have a memorable meal.

Stuffed turkey with honey roasted parsnips, carrots and sprouts

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Recipe by: Turkey cooking technique by Jamie Oliver, stuffing and vegetable recipes by me
Busy:80 min, Total prep time: 4 hours (plus overnight resting time)
Serves: 4 
A day ahead:

Rub the turkey with table salt inside and out and put it in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate it overnight (12 to 24 hours). According to Jaime Oliver, this removes all the excess moisture and allows the turkey to cook beautifully.

Prep the vegetables. Cut the tops off the carrots and parsnips and any long ends, and discard. If the carrots are small and sweet don't bother peeling them. If they are large, cut them in half lengthways, you want them roughly a uniform size. Cut the parsnips into chunks of about the same size.

Bring a large saucepan full of water to the boil. Pop the carrots and parsnips into the water and boil them for 6-8 minutes, depending on how big they are. You want them to be slightly tender, but still firm in the middle.

Drain and rinse with cold water to maintain colour and stop the cooking. Allow to cool and store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Prepare the Brussels sprouts: Remove any ragged or old-looking outer leaves on the brussels sprouts and discard.  Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, and blanch the sprouts for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and allow to cool,. Cut the sprouts in halves and store in the fridge.

On the day, 4 hours before the meal: prepare the turkey

Start with the stuffing. Chop the onion and the pancetta finely.

Heat one table spoon of olive oil into a non stick frying pan. When hot, add the onion and pancetta. Sauté on medium-low heat until the onion is translucent.

Peel, core and cut the apple into 1-2 cm chunks

Chop the bread and mix all the stuffing ingredients together, adding the beaten eggs last.

Now prepare the turkey. I am using Jamie Oliver’s method, it works very well! Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (350ºF).

Take the turkey out of the bag and rinse off excess salt by washing the turkey under running water. Pat it dry with paper towels and place on a board.

Slice the strips of pancetta in half and the peeled garlic into thin slivers. Place a 2 to 3 cms (1 inch) rosemary sprig and a garlic sliver on one end of a strip of pancetta and roll it up tightly. Repeat with the other pieces of pancetta until you have 12 little rolls.

Stab the thighs and drumsticks of the turkey in 6 places on each side. Push your finger into each slit to create a gap. Place each pancetta roll into the holes until it just peeps out.

Find the edge of the skin at the turkey neck and with a rubber spatula separate the skin from breast meat so that you can put the stuffing under the skin of the turkey breast. If you're careful you should be able to separate all the skin from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides but without ripping any holes in it.

From the neck end of the turkey, spoon the stuffing up between the skin and the breast, tucking the flap of skin underneath to stop any leaking out during cooking. Jamie’s technique of placing the stuffing on top of the breast will allow the meat to remain moist throughout the cooking - unlike more traditional methods, which often results in overly dry turkey breasts.

Microwave the orange for 30 to 60 seconds to get it nice and hot. Poke a hole in the hot orange and stuff it into the turkey cavity. You can also add some rosemary to the cavity.

Make a bed of roughly chopped shallots and 6 unpeeled garlic cloves in your roasting pan. Place the bird in roasting pan, season well with salt and pepper, and rub olive oil all over. Weigh the stuffed bird, cover with foil, and roast for 18 minutes per pound, or until the juices run clear from the thigh if pierced with a knife or a skewer. Remove foil for the last 45 minutes to brown the bird.

If you have extra stuffing, place in a gratin dish with one third of the stuffing’s volume in vegetable broth. You will bake it in the last 30 minutes.

When ready, remove the turkey and rest on a board for 20 minutes before carving.

40 min before serving: finish the vegetables

In a large pan that goes to the oven, melt the butter on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, toss the carrots and parsnips and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine, honey and rosemary and mix well. Cook for a few minutes and place the pan in the oven as soon as the turkey is out. Roast for about 30 minutes (the time to let the turkey rest and carve it), heat turned up to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).

If you had extra stuffing to bake, place the stuffing dish in the oven

15 minutes into the cooking, add the sprouts to the vegetables dish and stir well. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the turkey is ready to serve.

10 minutes before serving: put the dish together

Remove the garlic from the turkey roasting pan and place the pan on a burner on medium-low heat. Add the cider vinegar and the same amount in water. Bubble  for 5 minutes, and add the cream. Mix well, bring back to the boil and simmer for another couple of minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Carve the turkey and place it prettily on a large serving platter, garnished with the stuffing.

Transfer the vegetables to a large serving bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Add homemade mashed potatoes if you feel really, really hungry!

A day ahead:

Rub the turkey with table salt inside and out and put it in a clean plastic bag and refrigerate it overnight (12 to 24 hours). According to Jaime Oliver, this removes all the excess moisture and allows the turkey to cook beautifully.

Prep the vegetables. Cut the tops off the carrots and parsnips and any long ends, and discard. If the carrots are small and sweet don’t bother peeling them. If they are large, cut them in half lengthways, you want them roughly a uniform size. Cut the parsnips into chunks of about the same size.

Bring a large saucepan full of water to the boil. Pop the carrots and parsnips into the water and boil them for 6-8 minutes, depending on how big they are. You want them to be slightly tender, but still firm in the middle.

Drain and rinse with cold water to maintain colour and stop the cooking. Allow to cool and store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Prepare the Brussels sprouts: Remove any ragged or old-looking outer leaves on the brussels sprouts and discard.  Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, and blanch the sprouts for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and allow to cool,. Cut the sprouts in halves and store in the fridge.

On the day, 4 hours before the meal: prepare the turkey

Start with the stuffing. Chop the onion and the pancetta finely.

Heat one table spoon of olive oil into a non stick frying pan. When hot, add the onion and pancetta. Sauté on medium-low heat until the onion is translucent.

Peel, core and cut the apple into 1-2 cm chunks

Chop the bread and mix all the stuffing ingredients together, adding the beaten eggs last.

Now prepare the turkey. I am using Jamie Oliver’s method, it works very well! Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (350ºF).

Take the turkey out of the bag and rinse off excess salt by washing the turkey under running water. Pat it dry with paper towels and place on a board.

Slice the strips of pancetta in half and the peeled garlic into thin slivers. Place a 2 to 3 cms (1 inch) rosemary sprig and a garlic sliver on one end of a strip of pancetta and roll it up tightly. Repeat with the other pieces of pancetta until you have 12 little rolls.

Stab the thighs and drumsticks of the turkey in 6 places on each side. Push your finger into each slit to create a gap. Place each pancetta roll into the holes until it just peeps out.

Find the edge of the skin at the turkey neck and with a rubber spatula separate the skin from breast meat so that you can put the stuffing under the skin of the turkey breast. If you’re careful you should be able to separate all the skin from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides but without ripping any holes in it.

From the neck end of the turkey, spoon the stuffing up between the skin and the breast, tucking the flap of skin underneath to stop any leaking out during cooking. Jamie’s technique of placing the stuffing on top of the breast will allow the meat to remain moist throughout the cooking – unlike more traditional methods, which often results in overly dry turkey breasts.

Microwave the orange for 30 to 60 seconds to get it nice and hot. Poke a hole in the hot orange and stuff it into the turkey cavity. You can also add some rosemary to the cavity.

Make a bed of roughly chopped shallots and 6 unpeeled garlic cloves in your roasting pan. Place the bird in roasting pan, season well with salt and pepper, and rub olive oil all over. Weigh the stuffed bird, cover with foil, and roast for 18 minutes per pound, or until the juices run clear from the thigh if pierced with a knife or a skewer. Remove foil for the last 45 minutes to brown the bird.

If you have extra stuffing, place in a gratin dish with one third of the stuffing’s volume in vegetable broth. You will bake it in the last 30 minutes.

When ready, remove the turkey and rest on a board for 20 minutes before carving.

40 min before serving: finish the vegetables

In a large pan that goes to the oven, melt the butter on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, toss the carrots and parsnips and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine, honey and rosemary and mix well. Cook for a few minutes and place the pan in the oven as soon as the turkey is out. Roast for about 30 minutes (the time to let the turkey rest and carve it), heat turned up to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).

If you had extra stuffing to bake, place the stuffing dish in the oven

15 minutes into the cooking, add the sprouts to the vegetables dish and stir well. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the turkey is ready to serve.

10 minutes before serving: put the dish together

Remove the garlic from the turkey roasting pan and place the pan on a burner on medium-low heat. Add the cider vinegar and the same amount in water. Bubble  for 5 minutes, and add the cream. Mix well, bring back to the boil and simmer for another couple of minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Carve the turkey and place it prettily on a large serving platter, garnished with the stuffing.

Transfer the vegetables to a large serving bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Add homemade mashed potatoes if you feel really, really hungry!

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If you have a vegetarian guest, prepare the stuffing without the pancetta first and save some for your guest before adding the pancetta at the end . Bake the vegetarian stuffing in a gratin dish with cubes of drained firm tofu and about half the stuffing’s volume in vegetable stock, for about 40 minutes. Cover the dish tightly with a foil for the first 25 minutes and finish the baking uncovered. Serve it well seasoned with whole wheat couscous (takes 5 min to prepare and can be made ahead) and the vegetables.
Ingredients

Turkey
A 5 kg (10 lb) turkey
12 small fresh rosemary sprigs
8 cloves of garlic, 2 peeled
6 strips pancetta (smoked bacon)
4 shallots, chopped
1 big orange
Olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
15 cl single cream

Stuffing
2 apples
150 g (1 cup) raisins
80 g pine nuts (1/2 cup)
1 red onion
100 g bacon
40 g butter
100 g (4 slices) dried or toasted bread
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
leaves from 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
2 eggs

Vegetables
600 g parsnips
600 g small carrots
400 g brussels sprouts
100 g butter
3 tablespoons honey
15 cl white wine

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