Roast bronze turkey with all the trimmings

Roast turkey is always absolutely delicious at Christmas. First steamed with aromatics, then roasted until the skin is crisp, this roast turkey recipe results in a bird that is beautifully tender, moist and full of flavour. As well as apricot stuffing, serve cranberry and bread sauce with the turkey, along with plenty of beautiful vegetables and roast potatoes with lots of gravy.


The cranberry sauce recipe is generous, but always used up the following day with the cold cuts.

Main | Medium | Serves 6 | 4 hours 30 minutes, plus resting time

INGREDIENTS


ROAST BRONZE TURKEY

  • 6kg Bronze turkey

  • 1 onion, peeled and halved

  • 1 leek, halved

  • 1 carrot, halved

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1/2 bulb of garlic

  • 1000ml of water

  • 2 celery sticks, halved

  • 250g of pancetta slices

  • 10g of thyme

  • 170g of soft butter

  • salt

  • pepper

ROAST POTATOES

  • 1000g of Maris Piper potatoes

  • vegetable oil

  • salt

BUTTERED CARROTS

  • 1000g of carrots, peeled and cut into even batons

  • 250g of butter

  • 10g of thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

APRICOT STUFFING

  • 1000g of pork mince

  • 150g of dried apricots

  • 150g of white breadcrumbs

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp of herbes de Provence

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 3 tbsp of brandy

  • salt

  • pepper

BREAD SAUCE

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 onion, studded with one clove

  • 1 tbsp of double cream

  • 250ml of milk

  • nutmeg, freshly grated to taste

  • 100g of white bread, crusts removed

  • salt

  • pepper

CRANBERRY SAUCE

  • 1000g of cranberries

  • 400ml of orange juice

  • 2 oranges, zested

  • 1 pinch of ground ginger

  • 1 pinch of mixed spice

  • 1 pinch of cinnamon

  • 400g of brown sugar

CHIPOLATAS

  • 12 chipolatas

  • 12 slices of streaky bacon

GRAVY

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 celery stick, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 10g of thyme

  • 500ml of red wine

  • 1000ml of chicken stock

  • 500ml of veal stock

  • 50g of butter

  • BRUSSELS SPROUTS

  • 1000g of Brussels sprouts

  • 250g of butter

  • salt

  • pepper

Shopping List


METHOD


If preferred, you can make the cranberry sauce, bread sauce and stuffing beforehand - these can also be frozen a couple of weeks ahead to save time on the day


For the cranberry sauce, place the orange juice and zest in a pan with the spices and simmer gently to reduce by half. Add the sugar and cranberries, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes so the fruit breaks down and stews. It may need another 5-10 minutes on this heat if it looks too thin

  • 400ml of orange juice

  • 1 pinch of ground ginger

  • 1 pinch of mixed spice

  • 1 pinch of cinnamon

  • 400g of brown sugar

  • 1000g of cranberries

  • 2 oranges, zested


Taste for sweetness, then allow to cool before chilling in the fridge. Alternatively, place in a lidded container and freeze, then place in the fridge to defrost the night before using


For the bread sauce, place the milk and the clove-studded onion into a pan with the bay leaf. Bring gently up to a simmer, then pass through a sieve onto the bread

  • 1/2 onion, studded with one clove

  • 250ml of milk

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 100g of white bread, crusts removed


Stir until the bread softens, then add the cream, nutmeg and seasoning. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge. Alternatively, freeze in a lidded container, then remove and allow to defrost in the fridge the night before serving

  • 1 tbsp of double cream

  • salt

  • pepper

  • nutmeg


To prepare the stuffing, add the apricots, brandy and a splash of water to the pan, then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, leave to soak until softened, then drain off the liquid. Dice the apricots and place in a bowl

  • 150g of dried apricots

  • 3 tbsp of brandy


Add all of the remaining stuffing ingredients to the bowl with the apricots, correct the seasoning and chill in the fridge. Alternatively, freeze as you did with the sauces and defrost thoroughly in the fridge the day before using

  • 150g of white breadcrumbs

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp of herbes de Provence

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • salt

  • pepper

  • 1000g of pork mince


To cook the turkey, preheat the oven to 210°C/gas mark 7. 20 minutes before cooking, bring the stuffing out of the fridge to come up to room temperature


Season the turkey well inside and out. Fill the cavity with the prepared stuffing and place the stuffed turkey into a roasting tray. Spread the softened butter over the entire bird and cover with pancetta

  • 6kg Bronze turkey

  • salt

  • pepper

  • 250g of pancetta slices

  • 170g of soft butter


Arrange the onions, leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme and bay around the turkey. Pour 1 litre of water into the roasting tray

  • 1 onion, peeled and halved

  • 1 leek, halved

  • 1 carrot, halved

  • 2 celery sticks, halved

  • 1/2 bulb of garlic

  • 10g of thyme

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1000ml of water


Wrap the entire tray with foil, making sure the tin foil is tightly covering the turkey and roasting tray - this will allow the turkey to gently steam in the oven


Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170°C/gas mark 3 and continue cooking for another 2 hours


For the last 30 minutes of cooking time, remove the tin foil from the turkey and peel off the bacon. Increase the temperature to 200°C/gas mark 6 and roast until the skin of the turkey is golden brown and crisp


To prepare the potatoes, peel and cut into quarters. Place them into a bowl under running water for 5 minutes to remove excess starch. Cover the potatoes with fresh water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil

  • 1000g of Maris Piper potatoes


Cook until the potatoes are almost breaking apart, then drain carefully and leave to steam and cool. Pour oil into a roasting tray and place in the oven to heat up

  • vegetable oil

  • salt


Once the turkey has roasted, remove from the oven (reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/gas mark 4) and allow to rest for 45 minutes - this will ensure the bird retains its juices and stays moist


Add the potatoes to the roasting tray in a single layer and place the tray back in the oven until golden brown and crisp, turning every 20 minutes


Meanwhile, in a pot large enough to hold a single layer of carrots, melt the butter. Add carrots, thyme and bay and place a lid on the pan, then cook over a low heat until tender - making sure it stays at a gentle simmer and adding a splash of water if the butter gets a little hot. Do not allow the carrots to fry

  • 1000g of carrots, peeled and cut into even batons

  • 250g of butter

  • 10g of thyme

  • 2 bay leaves


To prepare the pigs in blankets, wrap each sausage in a rasher of bacon and cook in the oven until golden brown

  • 12 chipolatas

  • 12 slices of streaky bacon


To prepare the gravy, pour all of the excess fat from the turkey roasting tray into a pan, then add the carrots, celery, onion and thyme and cook until caramelised. Add the red wine and reduce, followed by the aromatics, chicken and veal stock. Reduce by two thirds

  • 500ml of red wine

  • 1000ml of chicken stock

  • 500ml of veal stock

  • 10g of thyme

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 celery stick, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped


Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan and return to the stove. Bring to the boil, correct the seasoning and whisk 50g butter into the gravy

  • 50g of butter


Peel the outer leaves from the sprouts and criss-cross the bottom of each one. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain. Heat a generous knob of butter in a large pan and add the sprouts, stirring to caramelise lightly and coat in the butter. Season well and set aside until ready to serve

  • 1000g of Brussels sprouts

  • 250g of butter

  • salt

  • pepper


To serve, carve the turkey and serve with the stuffing, roast potatoes, buttered carrots, buttered sprouts, cranberry sauce, bread sauce and gravy


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