Best roast turkey with fennel, orange and pork mince stuffing

Recipe by Michael Van Stom, Feather & Bone Providores


1 whole turkey
3 tbsp olive oil
16 slices of pancetta (optional, to stop breasts drying out)

For the stuffing

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
400g fennel sausages skinned
320g coarse breadcrumbs
1/2 orange, freshly grated rind only
1 tbsp each of finely chopped fresh thyme and sage
1/2 cup of pine nuts


Remove turkey neck, rinse inside and out, pat dry and allow to come to
room temperature. Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and fennel
seeds and cook until onion is translucent. Transfer the mix to a large mixing
bowl; when cool, add remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.
Season with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity of turkey and pocket of neck with
stuffing mix. Tie legs with kitchen string and tuck wings behind shoulders.
(At this point, you might choose to lay the pancetta strips diagonally across
the breasts overlapping in the centre. Rub the skin all over with oil and
sprinkle with salt. Pour the chicken stock into a large roasting pan, place
your turkey on a wire rack inside the pan and pop into the oven. Allow
about 25 minutes per kg of whole turkey.

After half an hour, raise the heat to 195°C. Half an hour later, lower the
heat back down to 185°C. For the last half hour of cooking, lower the heat
to 170°C. Every half an hour throughout the cooking, baste the turkey
thoroughly with the pan juices and rotate the pan for an even result.
Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.

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