Thanksgiving turkey

The annual festival of Thanksgiving has been celebrated in the U.S. since the Pilgrim Fathers first landed in Massachusetts. This is one of many versions of the Thanksgiving turkey.


serves 8 - 10
1 x 5 kg (10 lb) Oven-ready turkey, with the liver reserved and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
125 g (4 oz) 8 Tbs Butter, melted
4 Tbs Apricot jam
150 ml (5 fl oz) 5/8 cup White wine
2 Tbs Beurre manie (two parts flour and one part butter blended)

for stuffing one

50 g (2 oz) 4 Tbs Butter
2 Medium onions, finely chopped
27S g (10 oz) 1 1/4 cups Pumpkin, peeled, seeded and grated
2 Large carrots, grated
2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Grated nutmeg
50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup Double (heavy) cream

for stuffing two

25 g (1 oz) 2 Tbs Butter
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
275 g (10 oz) 10 oz Pork sausagemeat
125 g (4 oz) 1/2 cup Cranberry jelly
1 Tbs Chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
50 g (2 oz) 1/3 cup Chopped almonds


1. Rub the turkey, inside and out, with the salt and pepper.

2. To make stuffing I, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onions, pumpkin and carrots and fry until they are soft. Stir in the salt and pepper, sugar, nutmeg and cream, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside while you prepare stuffing II.

3. Melt the butter in a frying-pan. Add the onion and fry until it is soft. Stir in the sausagemeat and fry until it loses its pinkness. Stir in the remaining stuffing ingredients and cook for a further 3 minutes. Set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to hot 220°C (Gas Mark 7, 425°F).

5. Stand the turkey upright on a wooden board. Spoon stuffing I into the stomach cavity and press down with the back of a spoon. Spoon stuffing II on top and press down. Secure the openings with a trussing needle and thread or skewers. Brush the turkey liberally with the melted butter.

6. Put the turkey, breast down, in a large roasting pan and baste liberally with the melted butter. Put the pan into the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to moderate 180°C (Gas Mark 4, 350°F) and continue to roast for 2 1/4 hours, basting occasionally. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the turkey over. Spread over the apricot jam and pour over the wine. Return the pan to the oven and continue to roast for a further 30 minutes, basting occasionally, or until the turkey is cooked through and tender.

7. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and remove and discard the trussing thread or skewers. Keep hot.

8. Pour 350 ml (12 fl oz) (1 1/2 cups) of cooking juices into a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes or until it has reduced slightly. Add the beurre manie, a little at a time, and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Pour into a sauceboat and serve with the turkey.

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