Turkey with Orange, Herb and Nut Stuffing

Turkey with Orange, Herb and Nut Stuffing

The 12 Days of Christmas
Mark Roper

Some claim the stuffing is the best part of the Christmas turkey – and it might be hard to argue with that when making this deliciously fresh tasting, nutty stuffing. If using walnuts, make sure they are fresh or use canned ones.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 4kg turkey, at room temerature
60g butter
freshly ground black pepper, to season
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup water

Orange, herb and nut stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
6 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
40g unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 orange, zested
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs, such as continental parsley, thyme and chervil
1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as macadamias, pecans or walnuts
1 egg, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season


  1. To make the stuffi ng, dry the breadcrumbs, without browning, on a baking tray in a 160°C oven. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, stirring, until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and add the remaining stuffi ng ingredients. Season to taste and mix thoroughly. Add a small amount of cream if the stuffi ng doesn’t hold together.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the neck from the turkey cavity and keep it aside for gravy. Wash the turkey inside and out and dry well with paper towel. Spoon the stuffing into the crop, being careful not to pack it too tightly, and press outside of the breast to mould the stuffing to the original shape of the turkey (any remaining stuffing can be placed in the cavity). Bring the neck flap over the stuffing to back and secure with a small skewer.
  3. Turn the turkey over and fold its wings back behind it. To truss, put the turkey on its back. Run string around the wings and underneath to cross over the back. Turn the turkey over and bring the string up to tie the legs together, keeping them close to the body.
  4. Dot the bird with the butter and sprinkle with pepper. Position in a baking dish, pour the stock and water into the dish, and cover the turkey with foil (if you have a rack it should go first in the baking dish and the bird placed on top). To cover the entire bird, join two sheets of foil by folding the edges together. Cover the turkey and seal the foil to the edges of the baking dish. Roast the turkey for 45 minutes, basting frequently. Reduce the heat to 160°C and roast for a further 1 hour 40 minutes, basting frequently, until tender and golden brown.
  5. Continue roasting until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 80°C. If you don’t own a thermometer, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a fork or fine skewer. The fork should go in easily and the juice run out clear. If the juice has a pink tinge, further cooking is required.
  6. About 1 hour before the end of cooking, remove the foil and continue to cook, uncovered, basting regularly with the pan juices. Add parboiled, peeled potatoes if you like.
  7. Once cooked, turn off the heat and rest the turkey for 15 minutes in the oven with the door ajar, or out of oven, well covered with foil, while making the gravy. This resting period allows the meat to firm up and makes carving easier.


  • Wait to stuff the turkey until you’re ready to begin roasting – bacteria can start to grow inside a waiting, stuff ed turkey. Trussing a turkey means tying the legs and wings together to give the bird a tight look and nicer presentation. Trussing isn’t necessary for cooking, and can actually make the legs and thighs take longer to cook, since the bird is pressed against itself.
The 12 Days of Christmas
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