ROAST TURKEY WITH GARLIC SOURDOUGH STUFFING
SERVES 10 / PREPARATION 20 MINUTES / COOKING 3 HOURS 20 MINUTES - 4 HOURS
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Basting the bird with cream keeps the flesh moist and adds tremendous flavour to the pan juices, which form the base for the gravy. You can stuff the turkey up to two days ahead as the stuffing does not contain egg.
1 loaf sourdough bread (about 600g), crusts removed 12 cloves roasted garlic (recipe follows) 6 tablespoons olive oil 1 sprig rosemary, leaves coarsely chopped 3.5kg turkey, washed and dried olive oil for greasing roasting tray 1 cup cream 1 cup well-flavoured chicken stock 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
Cut the loaf into 12-16 chunky pieces and place in a large bowl.
Place the roasted garlic in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Add the oil and rosemary and combine.
Liberally brush the inside cavities of the turkey with the roasted garlic oil. Pour the remainder over the sourdough bread and toss to combine well. Season the stuffing generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper then stuff the body and neck cavities of the turkey. If there is excess stuffing wrap it in foil and heat it alongside the turkey.
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. Brush the turkey with some of the cream and place in the oven. After 30 minutes brush again with cream.
Reduce the oven to 160°C and roast for a further 1½-2 hours, brushing with cream and basting with pan juices every 30 minutes, until the juices run clear.
Transfer the turkey to another warmed roasting dish (reserving the used dish and juices) and leave to rest covered in tinfoil for at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes.
To make a jus, place the reserved roasting dish over a medium heat and pour in the stock. Stir to combine, scraping the caramelised bits off the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer to reduce by one third. Season the jus with salt and pepper. If not gutsy enough in flavour (depending on your stock), add balsamic vinegar and bring back to the boil.
Carve the turkey and place on serving plates or a platter accompanied with the stuffing and a jug of the jus.
Boiling garlic before roasting dispels any bitterness. Garlic can be as much as 10 months old before spring and as it ages it can become bitter.
3 bulbs of garlic olive oil thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Trim the top ¼ off the garlic bulbs with scissors to expose the cloves then place in a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, discarding the loose skin, and puncture the sides and top with a fork. Place in a small ceramic dish, drizzle generously with oil then sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes or until the cloves start to pop out of the skin. Cool.
When ready to use, squeeze the soft garlic out of its skin.