Liven up traditional roast turkey this Christmas with an easy lemon, garlic and sage twist, with wild mushroom and pork stuffing for an extra special treat. Make the stuffing ahead of time and freeze until ready to use so you can spend less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying the celebrations with your loved ones.
- 40g butter, softened
- 2 lemons, zested, 1 halved
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 15g fresh sage leaves, 4g finely chopped, rest left whole
- 4.4kg-4.8kg whole turkey, giblets removed, at room temperature
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the stuffing
- 20g butter
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 echalion shallots, finely chopped
- 140g wild or chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
- 600g Tesco Finest pork sausagemeat
- 90g ciabatta, blitzed into breadcrumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 15g fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- ½ egg, beaten
- 1 lemon, zested
Each serving contains
- Carbohydrate 13.1g Protein 83.3g Fibre 2.4g
- First, prepare the stuffing. Melt the butter with 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Fry the shallots for 5 mins over a low heat. Add the mushrooms, season and fry over a medium-high heat for 5 mins. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool before mixing in the rest of the stuffing ingredients (except the remaining oil). Set aside about one-third for the turkey. Roll the rest into ping-pong-sized balls (roughly 35g each). Cover with cling film, then chill until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Mix the softened butter with the lemon zest, garlic and chopped sage. Using your fingers, ease the skin away from the turkey breast, starting from the neck end, being careful not to tear the skin. Spread the butter under the skin to coat well.
- Stuff the reserved stuffing into the neck end of the turkey and carefully secure the skin underneath with 2 cocktail sticks. Put the lemon halves, bay leaves and 2 sage sprigs into the cavity and tie up the legs with kitchen string. Weigh the stuffed turkey and calculate the cooking time (20 mins per kg + 80 mins for a turkey less than 5kg, 20 mins per kg + 105 mins for a 5-9kg turkey).
- Put the turkey in a large roasting tin, rub all over with 1 tbsp oil and season well. Roast for your calculated cooking time, basting twice with the cooking juices and covering loosely with foil once the skin is golden. Check that the turkey is cooked through – the juices should run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the breast and legs, or a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the leg (avoiding the bone) should read 75°C. If not, return to the oven for 15 mins, then retest.
- Transfer to a warmed serving dish (reserving the juices for gravy, if making). Cover with foil and rest for at least 30 mins, or up to 1 hr 30 mins.
- Meanwhile, remove the stuffing balls from the fridge 20 mins before cooking. Increase the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Roll the stuffing balls in the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil in a small roasting tin, then bake for 25 mins. Serve alongside the turkey, garnished with sage sprigs to serve.
Tip: Remove your turkey from the fridge 1 hr before cooking.
Get ahead: Make the stuffing up until the end of step one and freeze, uncooked, until the day before use.