If you’re hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner this year, here’s a roast turkey recipe that definitely won’t disappoint. The quinoa stuffing is a healthy and gluten-free alternative to traditional stuffing, while the apricot flavour adds some sweet to the savoury!
Ingredients for quinoa-apricot stuffing:
- 380g quinoa
- 500ml boiling water
- 70g butter
- 2 onions, halved and finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- lemon, rind finely grated
- 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150g dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 150g pistachio kernels, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- 3 eggs, lightly whisked • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Instructions for quinoa-apricot stuffing:
- Place quinoa in a pot or rice cooker. Pour in boiling water and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Use a fork to separate the grains.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the onion, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary and cumin, and cook (stirring occasionally) for five minutes or until onion softens. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
- Stir onion mixture, apricots, pistachios and parsley into the quinoa. Add the egg, and stir to combine.
- Stuff the quinoa mixture into the turkey cavity, pulling the skin over to enclose.
Ingredients for the roast turkey:
- 80g butter, softened
- 1 lemon rind, finely grated
- Handful of fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4.5 to 5kg turkey
- Olive oil, to brush and grease
Instructions for the roast turkey:
- Combine butter, lemon rind, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Run your finger under the skin on top of each breast to loosen skin. Rub some butter over and under the skin. Fill cavity with quinoa stuffing, and tie the legs together with kitchen string.
- Place the turkey on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Brush the turkey with olive oil and cover loosely with foil. Pour one cup of water into the pan and bake for the first half hour.
- Reduce heat to 180 degrees, and bake for another hour, basting with oil every 30 minutes.
- Reduce heat further to 120 degrees for the next hour.
- Remove foil, roast for 30 more minutes or until golden, and until juices run clear when the thickest part of thigh is pierced with a skewer. Turn turkey breast up for final browning. Then, transfer to a platter and cover with foil; let sit for 20 minutes.
Slice the turkey and serve immediately.
Cooking notes and tips
- It can take two to three days for a frozen turkey to thaw.
- To prepare a whole turkey for roasting, remove the neck, giblets and any excess fat.
- Rinse the turkey briefly under cold water, then pat dry inside and out using a paper towel; tuck the wings under.
- To calculate cooking time, weigh the bird after it’s been stuffed; allow 35 minutes for every 1kg.
- If you’re using a thermometer, start taking temperature readings by inserting deep into the thickest part of the turkey breast and thigh, an hour before the turkey should be done.
- You want a resulting temperature of 80 degrees Celsius for the dark meat (thighs and legs) and 72 degrees for the white meat (breast).
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